teenybuffalo (teenybuffalo) wrote,


I just saw Tampopo for the first time. It was delightful. The joy in my fellow audience members was palpable; a lot of them seemed to be college students who had all come en masse and knew each other, and were entirely on board with the film's sense of humor. A guy in a lumberjack shirt and big beard said to me afterwards, "I think that must be my favorite movie now! It's the first time I saw it!" in astonishment.

This movie is a beautiful use of one of the best comedy tropes out there, Taking A Thing Way More Seriously Than Most People Think It Deserves. The thing is ramen. There is a harried widowed mom whose ramen shop is struggling, and a sexy older cowboy Japanese Clint Eastwood truck driver who only wants to see her succeed. There is an industrial espionage sequence. There's a makeover. There is a street gang of beggar gourmets who will break into people's apartments to cook omelets for neighbor kids. There's a nasty dental office sequence. There's some jackass mobster in a flashy white suit and his fancy girlfriend who do erotic eating that actually is kinda hot even while you cringe. There is a ghastly old woman who only wants to squeeze all the cheese, peaches, and soft baked goods. There are salarymen. Most of all, there are noodles, noodles, noodles, everywhere. I wanted ramen afterwards, despite the fact that it was the middle of the night and nothing was open. Stroke of luck: I had leftover spicy eggplant and rice from a restaurant trip yesterday, and that worked nearly as well.
Tags: food, movies, movies: tampopo, ramen, serious business
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