Following my Netflix recommended movies, I watched “Love Collage”, a 2003 movie starring Ryoko Hirosue and Makoto Seigawa. It started off great, and I was getting into it especially because it was kind of about photography, and I enjoyed the scenes where Hirosue’s character, Shizuru, would run around Tokyo snapping photos. It looked like this movie would turn out to be one of my favorites, but it all took a severe nose-dive when the plot moved from Tokyo to New York.
One phenomenon with Japanese dorama is that any gaijin actors used are usually not very good. The main thing the have to do is just look foreign, and any other acting skills they might have are at best lacking, and at worst truly awful. That’s usually not a problem since they are often only a small part of the scene or plot. Well, half of “Love Collage” takes place in New York City and not only are the American actors terrible, but the storyline itself gets too weird and unbelievable. It went from quirky and charming, to cheesy and campy. There is one shootout which is so over-the-top and just plain stupid, I was wondering if this was all a big joke. Plus, what is up with all the guns and violence in New York? I mean, the main character gets beat up three times? Are we to think this is realistic?
Finally, after all the plot weirdness settles down it seems like the original director comes back into the picture and tries to end the movie. It’s not terrible ending, but then I just keep scratching my head as to what that whole New York part was all about. That pretty much ruined the whole movie.