J.D. Lafrance
Lost in Translation DVD Review

Lost in Translation

October 1, 2002

Director: Sofia Coppola,
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Akiko Takeshita, Kazuyoshi Minamimagoe, Kazuko Shibata, Take, Ryuichiro Baba, Akira Yamaguchi, Catherine Lambert, François du Bois, Tim Leffman, Gregory Pekar, Richard Allen, Giovanni Ribisi, Yutaka Tadokoro, ,

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DVD Review

J.D. Lafrance

Witty, pleasant and a tremendously funny romantic comedy – yeah, if you were talking about ‘The Return of the King’ but not the words I would use to describe ‘Lost In Translation’, a pathetic attempt at romance in film. Ok so your dad is big man, “Mr Godfather” Francis Ford-Copolla, but don’t take that for granted Sofia, looks like talent has skipped a generation hmm? Bet daddy put a word in at the panel to win you all those awards as well. But anyways I’m not a spiteful person just a little touchy when it comes to films and PLEASING ME!! When I spend at least £9 at the theatre, not to mention no student discount, all I ask for is to be entertained. I do not however, wish to be lullabyed to sleep with the slow paced dialogue between a man who’s way past it, and a girl who is bored out of her skull with being in Japan. Don’t like it, go home! Something which I should have done.

Bob Harris (Murray) drearily arrives in Japan to film a commercial for an alcoholic beverage of some sort. Charlotte (Johanssen) accompanies her boyfriend to the far east (of the same destination as Murray) as he takes photographs of some sort. It’s his job. Anyways the two have trouble sleeping and eventually find each other at the hotel bar one night and it just takes off from there – rather slowly at that. Apparently the genre of the film is ‘romantic comedy’ but clearly that’s a mistake. If you call a married, middle-aged, droopy faced man courting a young, attractive married girl romantic, then fair enough. I would call it perversion, if not adultery! But that’s me, I’m young, what do I know? I do know that a middle-aged, droopy faced fella kissing a beautiful, young girl is neither romantic nor funny. It is disturbing and morally wrong. It should be a disturbing thriller perhaps. The petty jokes and cracks are probably offensive to Japanese people and the only laughs I got out of the film was when Charlotte stumps her toe! Don’t you just love it when people stump their toes!

The whole film plays too heavily on the typecast of Japanese people. Either they are all small, as demonstrated in the lift, crazy game show hosts, fashion punks and into kinky sex! The whole country is probably a joke to you! I doubt your Japanese audience was a large one. Anyways, at least you gave young Scarlet Johanssen a shot at the big screen, and as for Bill Murray, you probably ended his career. Oh and you didn’t leave us any surprises at the end Copolla, I think we knew he would get her and kiss her before he left, finally. The only kiss they share.

Sofia, go back to daddy and ask him if you could spend a little more time with him on set and learn how a real movie is made. And learn the definition of ‘romantic comedy’! Hello, romance and humour, not adultery and offense. PEACE


J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance


Rating: 53%



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