Cinéfranco 2015: Tokyo Fiancée Review

Tokyo Fiancée, based on a book by Amélie Nothomb, is a partially autobiographical film about her life as a 20 year old in Tokyo. The film tells the adorable yet realistic story of Amélie who, as a young Belgian woman obsessed with Japan, heads to Tokyo in hopes of establishing herself there. She begins teaching French to a young local named Rinri, who is as in love with Amélie’s culture as she is with his.

The film is a multicultural experience; the dialogue is spoken mostly in French, but you’ll also hear a lot of English and Japanese. Amélie and Rinri both teach each other the customs and habits of their respective countries. Rinri soon notices Amélie starts calling him “tu” instead of “vous,” a grammatical “dilemma” so often addressed in Japanese. There are many ways of addressing someone else in Japan, especially if you consider honorifics and last names instead of first ones.

The lead characters are very cute together, and it’s touching to watch their relationship develop. There’s an “I’ll teach you French if you become my tour guide” understanding between them, since Amélie is a private teacher and doesn’t have room in her home for studying in her home.

Definitely recommended for anyone interested in Japanese culture or just looking for a different kind of romantic comedy.

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