Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|LoveCom The Movie|
Actors: Teppei Koike, Ema Fujisawa, Shizuyo Yamazaki, Shosuke Tanihara
Director: Kitaji Ishikawa
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Based on the bestselling comic by Aya Nakahara, LOVE*COM THE MOVIE is a high-school romantic comedy centering on two students. Risa Koizumi is taller than the average girl, and the last thing she wants is the humiliation o... more »
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Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 01/23/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Risa Koizumi is too tall for a girl. Atsushi Otani is too short for a boy. You know the rest. Hijinks ensue.
Well, OK, it may not actually be that simple, but that is pretty much the gist of Love*Com (Which is a shortened form of "Lovely Complex", which doesn't have any real meaning besides being bad Japanese-English). Based on a popular shojo manga, this is just a light and fluffy formula-romance comedy pairing two oddballs who are perfect only for each other. The film follows the style of the manga, with sudden flights of anime-inspired fantasy interspersed with reality, and that is its saving grace, and where most of the charm comes in.
Formula films depend a lot on the abilities of their actors to save the day, and the cast of "Love*Com" does OK. Most of them, including the leads, are pretty much inexperienced as actors, but that doesn't hurt them too much. Model Ema Fujisawa playing Risa is cute in an odd sort of way, and fits the role perfectly. Teppei Koike, a singer and "idol" is a little too cool as Atsushi, and it is hard to buy that he has a hard time finding a girlfriend. The film is absolutely peppered with cameos by popular Japanese comedians, but that probably won't mean much to too many Americans. Shizuyo Yamazaki (Sayuri from "Hula Girls") is funny as Risa's older sister, a giant girl in her own right but who managed to hook herself a man.
The films keeps up a good pace, but then fizzles near the end. A problem with some manga adaptations, they tried to fit too much of the popular story in, and just when things should have been coming to their happy conclusion, a new rival steps in and the film drags. You know what the eventual conclusion is going to be, and if the director had compacted the storyline a bit more, maybe thrown in some subplots with the other characters, it would have been a charming piece of film fluff, good for fans of the manga series and for anyone in the mood for this type of formula flick. As it is....things just go on too long, even at barely over an hour and a half.
For this kind of light comedy, the DVD is actually surprisingly good, with interviews, fake music videos and a parody short film. They did a good job padding out the content, and the US release actually has more bonus materials than the Japanese release."
Aimee Pan | California, CA | 06/08/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Definitely a movie that is cute and fluffy and fun, without much substance. To note is the cast full of rising stars, such as the two main characters. Koike Teppei has appeared in many dramas before, but it is Love Com that brings him to the big screen attention of international anime fans who don't watch Japanese dramas. Also in the film is Mizushima Hiro in one of his first roles in a film, and he's one to watch out for too, though neither boy gets anything particularly out of the formulaic character acting.
This is not a hard movie to make, but somehow the director drags it out too long with too many subplots--I feel like the rival situation at the end was just unnecessary as we all know what will happen in the end anyway. Still though, the entire movie is pretty funny, and worth a couple of hours of your time for a few laughs."
Empty, Fluffy Entertainment
Daitokuji31 | Black Glass | 01/23/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Having spent the last week or so doing nothing more than taking notes for a paper, I decided that I wanted to sit down to a film that offered little more than empty entertainment and I must say that Ishikawa's film did not disappoint in the realm of mindless entertainment.
Based on Nakahara Aya's long running girl's manga which stretched from September 2001 until December 2006, the filmic version of Lovely Complex attempts to squash seventeen volumes of manga into a one-hundred minute long movie. However being one who has never has read the manga or have watched the anime on which the manga was based, I can't say how watered down the film was or what characters were excised in the resulting film. Yet, the film itself was decently enjoyable after I adjusted myself to the overacting cast members and bright assortments of colors which I felt for sure were going to burn images upon my retinas.
The film itself centers on the relationship between Koizumi Risa and Otani Atsushi who are relatively normal, albeit immature high school students. However, the one thing that differentiates this duo from other couples is their height differences with Koizumi standing at around 5' 7" and Otani around 5' 1." Earlier in their lives both Koizumi and Otani had been burned by those they fell in love with because of their respective heights. Now, year after year, they are in the same homeroom and their dormant affection for each other grows as they learn that they have many things in common. However, can they truly fall in love with each other because of their bad past experiences.
The review above is brief because the film soon derails from the theme of the young couple learning to love each other despite their physical differences into a banal romance film of the underdog in pursuit of the lady he loves. However, the film is relatively enjoyable and there are some laugh out loud moments (I personally enjoyed the appearance of Yamazaki Shizuyo, who, standing nearly six feet tall, makes up the female half of the manzai duo Nankai Candies). A decent film if you have a couple of extra hours to kill, Love Complex brings nothing new to the table, but it does make for a nice, familiar offering."