JAPAN 1987
CAST: Masahiko Tsugawa, Haruna Takase, Chishu Ryu
ONE WORD: A bit weird, a bit funny.

Compared to A TAXING WOMAN, this film has its moments, but is not quite funny, in the western hemisphere, which has had major satires on the subject. In Japan, this may have been very funny because it satirized a system that is basically dead, and a waste of time, for the busy minded people of today in Japan.

The old man has dies. And a ceremony is planned, with all the trimmings required. And the choosing of the needs for this affair take on a very funny air... how to choose the priest, the casket, the guests, the florist, anything that is game for the irreverent Juzo Itami. In the process, his various characters find themselves in a few odd moments, and the new leader of the house, finds himself involved in an affair, which has been on for a while. He has a mistress, or two. The funeral is a terrible inconvenience which the girlfriend dislikes... so she comes over for a little more than sushi.

The funny part of this film is the family's inability to make decisions about the dead old man. Which shoes. What are we going to do with the body, change clothes now and take it home, or take it home and change the clothing then.... which socks. All, problems, that's for sure.

And in the meantime, the other old timers remember the codger, by getting drunk at his funeral, and talking old trash. And the young children go around the place like nothing has happened. Life seems to live on.

But it does have its subtle moments, which are funny. When the mistress gets upset because she hasn't been taken care of...... ohhh boy..... and the prices of things are haggled all the time... a priest with this and that, or just this... how much do we tip the priest for the ceremony, etc... all in all a film that is funny to watch, fun to laugh at, but not very funny to think about. But you could get a giggle ( one of these days ) at the most inopportune time.... such is the fate of us, film enthusiasts....





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