Monday, January 28, 2013

AFRO TANAKA (2012) movie review

Afro Tanaka (2012) d. Matsui, Daigo (Japan)

Splendid romantic comedy in the broad Japanese vein, meaning that characters do a lot of face-pulling and vocal histrionics, here in the service of a story about a young man with an incredibly lush head of kinky curls (brought into existence by sheer childhood will). The winning Shota Matsuda plays the titular lead with a blend of twentysomething bravado and insecurity, chasing any number of potential female candidates to ride his arm for a high school chum’s upcoming wedding. Naturally, his dream girl shows up next door (an effervescent Nozomi Sasaki), but misconceptions and fate keep them apart for the majority of the running time. Hey, we wouldn’t have a movie otherwise, right? An endearing and well-crafted amusement, full of heart and relatable scenarios. Adapted by Masafumi Nishida from Masaharu Noritsuke's manga.

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