To shake things up a little, I decided to do a movie review of Julie and Julia, except that movie doesn’t come out until December. So, as I was browsing the options on my newly created Netflix account (which also happens to have the seasons to multiple HBO/Showtime series I’ve been meaning to watch, yay for more procrastination potential!), I came across a little gem called The Ramen Girl. It came out in 2008 with little notice, probably because it stars Brittany Murphy, and I thought I’d give it a shot. By the way, the “little gem” part was a joke. Before I begin, I should probably say that I didn’t actually finish the movie. I could blame this on the poor bandwidth in my apartment but that would be a partial lie. It really wasn’t worth finishing anyways. I understand that it’s far easier to write a scathing review than a good one, as the character Ego tells the viewers of Ratatouille (the movie I should’ve watched), but really there isn’t too much to praise in this one.
Besides the fact that Murphy can’t act and her collagen injected lips are distracting to watch as she attempts her monologues, the whole movie was based on stereotypes. The other two westerners in the film consisted of a “southern belle” type and a sophisticated British man. The woman, Gretchen, looks and acts more like a woman straight out of some ended era with her massive floor length fur coat, un-ending cigarette, shoulder length wavy hair, and her knowingly suave chuckle. Oh, and she was a prostitute, a sub-plot in the film which was never fully developed.
Really though, all the annoyances that accumulate throughout this movie go back to the fact that Murphy needs acting lessons, or more accurately, should just find a new career. She plays the same whiny, needy, feminists’ nightmare role over and over. The basic plot is that she moves to Tokyo to be with her boyfriend who you immediately understand did not want her there. He leaves. She mopes. She tries to find a job and eventually gets one somehow at a restaurant that sells Ramen and that job eventually becomes meaningful in her life. Summed up in a sentence: It’s like an Uptown Girl set in Japan.