Thursday, July 17, 2008

Strawberry Shortcakes (Sutoroberii Shooto Keikusu/ストロベリーショートケイクス-2006)

Chizuru Ikewaki - Satoko
Noriko Nakagoshi - Chihiro
Yuko Nakamura - Akiyo
Kiriko Nananan - Toko
Ryo Kase - Nagai
Masanobu Ando - Kikuchi
Ayaka Maeda - Michiru
Seminosuke Murasugi
Yoko Ishino

Based on the eponymous manga for girls by cartoonist Kiriko Nananan, the pic follows the ups and downs of four female friends in Tokyo looking for love and trying to cope with the responsibilities in their lives. The main characters, impeccably played by four powerful actresses, are modern, self-sufficient women and their stories are told with mild irony and a dash of melancholy. The result is a movie that is lighthearted at times, a little sad at others, crazy and sometimes serious, but always special, that investigates the psychology of its characters and offers an accurate depiction of urban Japan, thanks to its director’s know-how. While many overly ambitious directors struggle to tell even one fairly comprehensible story, Yazaki skillfully weaves a powerful depiction of not one, but four women, creating an indissoluble and moving whole that doesn’t succumb to sentimentalism.
I'm not sure if I liked this movie or not. It was a slow movie and the characters looked so much alike I couldn't tell who was who. So that was really confusing. And just when I thought I was going to start liking it....*boom!*....the movie was over.

It had a strange aura about it. I couldn't really feel any happiness in it. Sort of a gloomy movie. Even the end, even though they seemed to be in better spirits couldn't make up for the "gray clouds" that hung over this movie.

I so desperately wanted to like this movie because it had Masanobu Ando. But his little bit piece in the movie just wasn't enough to make this movie any better. Okay, naked Ando-san was a nice touch. LOL! *smiles*

If you are desperate, depressed, suicidal, or any of the combination of the three, don't watch this movie.

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