Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Honey & Clover
Director: Masahiro Takada
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Animation
Based on the bestselling manga by Chica Umino, HONEY AND CLOVER is a romantic comedy about a group of art school students who try to scrape by, barely earning enough money buy food and pay their rent. But as soon as an inn... more »
Prosaic, threadbare fun
Daitokuji31 | Black Glass | 05/09/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Honey & Clover opens at the home of Hanamoto Shuji, a scruffy, rumpled art professor who allows his students and students from other departments to crash at his home and have drinking parties. At this particular party, three female students are busy criticizing the appearance of a fellow student named Takemoto whose healthy appearance, cheerfulness, and ability to wear shorts differs him from is melancholy, alcoholic, and chain-smoking classmates, although he too does enjoy his alcohol and cigarettes. Others of note include Mayama, a serious young man who is in love with his boss: Harada Rika, and Yamada, a long-haired, large-eyed young woman whose love for Mayama goes unreciprocated. Needing more beer, Mayama and Takemoto rush upstairs to discover a young woman sporting disheveled hair and vivid clothing busily painting an abstract work. Later, they learn that the girl is Hanamoto Hagumi, nicknamed Hagu, Dr. Hanamoto's niece, whom the professor asks Takemoto to look after because the girl, although a brilliant artist, is quite naïve and unable to get by on her lonesome.
Takemoto, according to Mayama, instantly falls in love with the girl, and does everything in his power to be with her. Although shy, Hagu is quite receptive to Takemoto, but does not see her upperclassman's new found love for her. Things begin to become more troublesome when an older student, Morita, returns from his trip abroad. A gifted wood sculptor, Morita instantly recognizes Hagu's artistic ability, and although she is a bi put off by Morita's brusqueness at first, Hagu also recognizes Morita's ability and a close friendship forms. What is the poor boy Takemoto to do?
Based on a long running manga that stretched from 2000-06, Honey & Clover suffers from what quite a few series suffers from when based on a long running manga: crushing too many characters and storylines within a limited time space. However, being that there are also an anime version and a live action drama of the series, a number of these problems can be overlooked. Yet, the film, although quite comedic, is pretty prosaic and sticks primarily to the themes of love triangles and unrequited love. On the other hand, the film is lovely and the acting is well done with a number of well know stars. Aoi Yu as Hagu is adorable, but her childlike innocence makes her involvement, albeit unbeknownst to her, a little uncomfortable at times."
Japanese Movie Adaptation
Elizabeth Plavdjian | 08/08/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a big fan of Japanese actor, Sho Sakurai -- who plays the main character, Takemoto -- as well as being a fan of the manga, Honey & Clover. This adaptation, while not 100% accurately portraying the manga, does a fair job.
It is revolves around 5 art-school college students. Takemoto falls in love with Hagu at first sight -- the niece of his art professor. Hagu is a prodigy artist who specializes in abstract paintings. The other art-prodigy is Morita (who has been in the art school for 8 years and has yet to graduate), a wood-sculpture major, and he and Hagu seem to have a special bond over their talent and passion for art - thereby setting up a love triangle. The other 2 characters are Morita and Yamada, both victims of unrequited love. Morita loves his boss, Rika, and Yamada loves Morita. It is an eternal stalemate where neither wants to give up loving their respective interests. The story sets up as Morita returning for a prolonged absence, whereupon he's going to have an art show he's not to thrilled about. In the end, he ends up getting some bad reviews as well as good ones, and an artwork of his his bought. Hagu is encouraged to enter an art competition, but in order to win, she must not enter her abstract works, and instead do a real-life painting.
Themes in this movie that run strong are the nostalgic memories of friendship and youth, as well as the pain and joy of first love. The movie as an artistic, nostalgic feel about it, which I believe was the director's goal. There are a lot of silent moments, accompanied by piano-playing music in the background, and slight bits of humor. The orginal manga is truly heart-warming and interesting. For me, although there are many fans of this movie, I believe it falls short, in some ways. It's still a good movie, but not exactly lively. However, I believe artist fans, and fans of the manga might enjoy it!"
A delightfully emotional story about the bonds of friendship
Midwest Book Review | Oregon, WI USA | 06/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Honey and Clover is a live-action Japanese romantic comedy movie with English subtitles. A group of struggling art students eke out a hand-to-mouth life, barely making enough to eat and pay the rent; when an innocent nineteen-year-old girl with exceptional talent joins them, a complex love triangle ensues! A delightfully emotional story about the bonds of friendship, fickle whims of love, and the determination to achieve one's dream, Honey and Clover is a joy to watch and welcome addition to foreign film shelves. 116 minutes, color.