Friday, March 15, 2013

JMovie Review: Lovely Complex

*Note: I will be taking a short diversion from dramas to some movies for a few posts*

The Gist: High school students Koizumi Risa (Fujisawa Ema) and Otani Atsushi (Koike Teppei) both have complexes about their height – Risa is freakishly tall and Otani is unusually short. Their similar temperaments get them a reputation as a comedy duo at their school, which turns into a tight friendship. That friendship however begins to change when Risa realizes she might have deeper feelings for Otani, but it turns out to be difficult to get past how ridiculous they look together. Otani’s not sure he feels the same about Risa and when she meets his short, cute ex-girlfriend, Risa thinks she knows why.

1.The Casting
A movie like this, based on such an exaggerated anime makes me nervous for a live action adaptation. I mean, tall red headed Asian chicks aren’t exactly common and Risa has to be seriously silly. That said, I think Ema and Teppei did a fantastic job as their characters. They have great chemistry both as friends and potential shippers. Also, Mighty (Tanihara Shosuke) was spot on as both ridiculous, but a good guide for Otani and Risa.
2.The Comedy
One of the best parts of this show (anime and movie) is the comedic element. All the characters have brilliant moments of pure silliness that somehow doesn’t come off as totally ridiculous. Luckily, the comedy is balanced with the right amount of sincerity that the show doesn’t go off the deep end. It’s not a particularly difficult premise and on some level, Risa and Otani’s complexes are really funny, especially when the two of them are together. Their face offs are the best part of the movie.
3. The Ending
No spoilers. I just wasn’t sure how far into the story we were going to get with the movie, since obviously it only has an hour and a half to amend the story. So while I was worried about how decent of an ending we were going to get, the movie changes the story appropriately so that you feel like you haven’t missed anything by the end of it.
4. The Concert Scene
There isn’t a great insight into this, but I love it when Risa asks Otani to go to a concert, but then later lets him off to go see his ex. She’s at the concert by herself, starting to feel lonely and crying. Then she trips and scrapes her knee, when who shows up, but our lovely Otani. It’s not unexpected or original, but I love it anyway.
1.The Friends
Otani and Risa are surrounded by four friends who are paired off themselves. Obviously, this puts extra pressure on Risa and Otani to get together romantically. There’s nothing wrong with the casting or the characters, except for maybe Nobu (Tamaki Nami) who is a bit too pushy. Still, I felt that they were left a bit stereotypically popular and shy and didn’t really get into their individual personalities. Again, though, that’s the drawback to the short timeline of a movie versus a show.
1. Risa’s Sister
But really though, Risa’s sister is a total creeper.  I’d say most of the worst scenes are when Risa’s in her room at home, talking to her sister. I have no idea what she’s supposed to be adding to the story, other than the fact that Risa’s entire family seems to be a little bit nuts.
2. Risa’s Birthday
This is a scene that happens in the anime and not in the movie. So if you’re only watching the movie, this isn’t really a bad thing, but Risa’s birthday is my favorite part of the anime and I’m sad it didn’t make it in to the movie.
So… the movie stays true to the source material, but real fans will probably miss some scenes. The casting is well done, with our leads as both adorable and hilarious. Good for something light and fun, with only minor problems.
Final Grade: B+
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