Come See The Paradise is a deeply touching love story set against the backdrop of a dramatic and controversial period in American history, It follows the romance and eventual marriage of Jack McGurn (Dennis Quad), a hot bl... more »ooded Irish American, and a beautiful Japanese American Lily Dawanura (Tamlyn Tomita), at the outset of World War II. The clash of cultures, at once painful for the two lovers, becomes insurmountable after the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. Lily and the Kawamuras are relocated To a bleak, outdoor internment camp in California, Jack is drafted into the Army, powerless to help the woman he loves abandoning all hope of ever winning her family's approval.« less
"Come See The Paradise is a film that looks deeply into cultural differences when a white Irish-American man becomes interested in, and ulitmately marries a Japanese-American woman. Dennis Quaid and Tamlyn Tomita portray their charecters extremely well. The movie looks at the impact of World War II on Japanese-Americans as they are sent to camp. The effect that this treatment has on the families is examined in great detail amd with great objectivity. It is a vivid lesson on emotion and hysteria overpowering logic and common sense. The impact of internment on the Japanese-Americans who underwent this violation of constitutional rights is still being felt today. It is a piece of American history that has been muted, if not ignored, for decades. This movie is an attempt at getting the story of Japanese-American internment out to a broader audience than those interested in constitutional law or domestic history. It is a movie that is well worth seeing, not once but several times. The acting by all is exceptional and leaves a listing imprint on the mind's eye. It is a bright light on a dark chapter in America's history."
Should have been much better
Old movie fan | 04/30/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The theme of this movie reflects one of the darkest moments of 20th century America: the internment of people soley on the basis of their ethnicity. Being a post-WWII Japanese American (and knowing numerous individuals who lived through the internment ordeal), I truly appreciate it when this story is brought to the public. Additionally, I think Alan Parker is overall, a very good filmmaker (I have enjoyed his other works including Midnight Express, Shoot the Moon, and Birdy).However, after so much effort (including apparently interviewing over 2000 concentration camp survivors) and a large Hollywood-style budget, Parker cannot effectively convey the drama and hardships that the Japanese American people endured. There is good acting, particularly by Stan Egi and Sab Shimono and several stirring scenes, including an exodus of the Japanese out of their homes and into the camps. Also, this film caused quite a commotion among the Japanese American communities since it supposedly exploits an interracial stereotype: White Guy lusting for Asian Woman. But as far as a love story goes, this film is flat; it would have been far more efficacious had it examined the overall plight of the Japanese people while interned.There are two much better films on this subject. 1. "Farewell to Manzanar" which is based on the true story of Jeanne Wakatsuki-Houston (the book which she co-authored with her husband on this story is also excellent). 2. A documentary on the life of Fred Korematsu who was interned with his Causcasian wife"
Underrated, and Lesser Known, but Very Good!
Erik Rupp | Southern California | 12/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When Come See the Paradise first came out late in 1990 in played in a very limited release. In it's first weekend it only played in 5 theaters, widening to a whopping 25 theaters by it's third week which ultimately led to a grand total of $947,306.00 at the box office in it's theatrical run. This one flew completely under the radar, and that's a shame.
Why? Because Come See the Paradise is a fine, well crafted movie with a subject matter that hasn't gotten much attention, even though it should have.
Dennis Quaid plays an Irish-American in trouble with the law who moves to Los Angeles and ultimately falls in love with a Japanese-American girl. This is just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. The girl's father wants her to have nothing to do with Quaid, but Quaid's Jack McGurn (McGann while "hiding" from the law) persists and ultimately wins over the girl, if not her family.
The script is well written, touching on prejudice and racism in a restrained, sober way. The movie doesn't hit you over the head with messages on the evils of prejudice and racism, instead it shows the results of such beliefs and behaviors and lets the viewer come to his or her own conclusions. The story between Jack and Lily (played by the wonderful, and quite beautiful Tamlyn Tomita) is quite touching and played in a very sensitive manner.
Of course, the movie shifts to the post Pearl Harbor events, and Jack and Lily are separated as she and her family are forced by the U.S. Government into a Japanese Internment Camp, and Jack ultimately ends up in the Army.
The ending of the movie is a bit anti-climactic, and not quite the resolution that the movie deserves (as the movie runs out of steam dramatically). But, then again, in real life would the ending of such a story have been any more satisfying? Probably not.
Alan Parker's direction is fantastic, and his script is moving and quite touching. The acting in Come See the Paradise is also quite good, as Dennis Quaid is in top form, and Tamlyn Tomita is excellent as well. The supporting cast - too many to name individually - is also quite good from top to bottom.
For a different perspective on the World War II era, or just for a really solid drama, you can't do much better than Come See the Paradise."
An Absolute Must-See!!
Old movie fan | 08/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is an excellent introduction to a fairly recent period of American history-the internment of Japanese First Generation and Second Generation Americans in concentration camps. How did this happen in a land which prides itself on being a symbol of democracy and freedom? The acting, photography, and story are all excellent. Truly a moving experience! The included documentary, "Rabbit in the Moon," is a very personal memoir of living in the camps. It also explains why some first generation Japanese refused to give up their Japanese citizenship. They were NOT allowed American citizenship! They would have become stateless persons! Damned if you do! Damned if you don't! In addition, it explains the antagonism between the JACL(Japanese American Citizens League) and the older Issei leadership. For example, parental discipline and family ties almost completely broke down in the camps. The U.S. government, indeed, fostered this by promoting the power of the JACL(composed of young, born-in-the-U.S.A second generation Japanese-American citizens)over the first generation who were not allowed to become citizens. It was kids vs. their parents! As one of the interviewees states, children were allowed to run free and, if they wanted, they didn't even have to stay with their parents. Of course undisciplined children quickly form gangs with their peers. This is one example from "Rabbit in the Moon." Considering the material included on the DVD this is truly a Bargain Purchase!"
A GREAT AND HIGHLY-UNDERRATED FILM
Old movie fan | 12/01/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dennis Quaid is one of the best actors to come along in years, never made it as big as guys like Costner, Gibson, Russell,etc. but has made a handful of great films in the 80's-early 90's. Come See The Paradise is Dennis in his best role and the critics chose to ignore it! A very moving, beautiful film that would make a good addition to anyone's film library."