(Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd.)
(Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd.)

You need not be familiar with Shunju Aono’s original manga to enjoy I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow directed by Yuichi Fukuda. This particular genre of Asian comedy movies are worlds apart from American comedy movies. In particular, Japanese slacker comedies like  one might never make it to Hollywood cinema, but rest assured they won’t be shown in airplanes either.

That being said, it’s sort of an acquired taste.

The kind of comedy highlighted here is a bit of slice of life combined with personal introspection. Shizuo Oguro (Shinichi Tsutsumi) is an unemployed middle-age single father. He lives with his teenage daughter and his belligerent father. Shizuo keeps an internal dialogue with his personal interpretation of God as well as visions of his former self at previous ages.

The real comedy is the everyday situations in which the happy-go-lucky Shizuo runs into once he naively starts to follow a dream: he wants to draw manga for a living. Stuck in a part time job at a fast food joint where his manager is half his age, he soon befriends an emotionless youngster. Together with his best friend from childhood, who is going through a divorce, they will soon start exploring that most dangerous of ideas: doing what you most want out of your life regardless of consequences.

There’s no big finale or grand climax. The film just makes you laugh out of human interaction. It also comes close to make you cry when Shizuo or one of his friends, who are soon infected with the same crazy notion of following their wildest dreams, find that more often that not they will find themselves crashing to the ground.

I don’t want to describe the humor as “simple” but rather as more down to earth. There’s no sleazy graphical smut or modern day pop-culture references. There’s just plain life as it is. The movie skirts around the easy happy ending and just lets you know that the victory is in the everyday battle.

To quote Shizuo’s personal God, “at least you had one good dream.”

That will do for now.

Coming up next in Fantasia:

  • Saturday, August 3: 2:20pm – 3:52pm The Machine – J. A. De Seve Theatre.
  • Saturday, August 3: 6:30pm – 8:25pm 5-25-77 – J. A. De Seve Theatre.
  • Sunday, August 4: 12:00pm – 1:44pm 009 Re: Cyborg – Imperial Theatre.
  • Sunday, August 4: 2:15pm – 3:40pm Imaginaerum – Imperial Theatre.
  • Monday, August 5: 5:05pm – 6:30pm When A Wolf Falls In Love With A Sheep – Imperial Theatre.
  • Tuesday, August 6: 6:30pm – 8:20pm Gatchaman – Imperial Theatre.

(Sources: 2013 Fantasia Film Festival, Nippon Cinema)