Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Ramen Girl (2008)
My roomie and I went to an amazing ramen place near our apartment called Kyushu Ramen. It was absolutely delicious! I loooove noodles. I think my bowl was called Shiyo ramen. It was soy sauce soup with stewed pork. I even tried the gyoza..MMMmmmm. I just had lunch but now I'm craving it! It was a great way to start off the week.
It also reminded me of a great movie that starred Brittany Murphy before her death.I've admired Murphy ever since she played the geek to valley girl in Clueless. I thought she was awesome in "Just Married". She was a quirky actress with huge eyes. Really fun to watch.
In "Ramen Girl", Murphy plays Abby who is now stranded in Tokyo. She had followed her boyfriend only to have him dump her. She doesn't have any mother and she doesn't understand Japanese at all. She wanders into a local ramen shop where the chef takes pity and gives her bowl to eat. From that first bite she is hooked. She is deteremined to become a ramen chef. With much gestures and reluctance, the chef agrees to take her on. She goes through exhausting trials of becoming ramen chef.
Whats the big deal right? It's just a bowl of noodles. Hell, we even have the package ones that every college students covets. Try telling that to a ramen chef and see if you have any genitals left.
Like sushi chef, sumo wrestles, manga artists, or any profession in Japan, ramen chef is taken very seriously. A good ramen chef must balance out the spices and texture to obtain the right bowl. In every movie I've seen that involves food, there is the underlying lesson that creating food food is an extension of your emotions and soul. For the ramen chef, it must be a strong emotion like love that would make it a ramen bowl.
This movie has a great balance of comedy and drama. I don't know if I buy the romance part of it but I can easily look it aside for the comedy. Every time the chef became frustrated, I would think back to how my mom was with me when I tried to prepare a basic thai dish. The language barrier gag will always tickle me silly.
It's a sweet movie and something of an empowerment for me. I'm uplifted by her determination to see being a ramen chef through. What I come away with is, it doesn't matter what your goal is. As long as it means something to you and your determined then fight on!