« The Internet | Main | Masks »

Last Love, First Love

I've not had a lot of luck with airline movies. When I first arrived on the plane today, the line-up didn't look much better: Ben Stiller in the thoroughly pointless Starsky & Hutch; "The Rock" in the thoroughly plotless Walking Tall; and Mike Myers in The Cat and the Hat, the film that set out to prove that The Grinch Who Stole Christmas wasn't such a bad idea--at least by comparison.

Thank goodness the Japanese stuff was better. Indeed, not only better, but positively good, if not great. First Love, Last Love is a simple romance involving a love triangle in which each leg converses in a different language. Min and Lin, two sisters in Shanghai, both fall for the same bit of damaged goods, automotive designer Hayase. However, he can speak to the elder sister only in English, and the younger one only in Japanese.

Mr. Hayase barely wants to speak to either of them at the beginning, however. He's too shellshocked by the fact that his wife and his partner ran off together, leaving him broken and isolated. Indeed, he meets the younger sister at mandatory English lessons, but the elder sister when she saves him from a suicide attempt.

The rest of the story focuses on the interactions between each character's flaws: Hayase's hopelessness, Lin's immaturity, and Min's instictive urge to overprotect those she loves. The plot itself is unexceptional. What carries it forward is the striking rightness of how most of these difficulties are resolved. For instance, at the deepest point of Hayase's funk, he's shamed into action when Min calls him a coward. That spark starts him trying to mend his ways, but it's not like his life turns around because of a speech. Finally he comes across the young truck-driver who loves Lin, his truck stranded in the ditch. And almost immediately, his jacket's off and he's helping to schlep bags of cement, notwithstanding that he's in his suit.

The change is immediate: whatever wreck the rest of his life is, he and the boy have gotten a large truck out of a ditch, a success life can't take away. It's really the first point you see him smile, the point at which his fortunes reverse.

It's these scenes that make the movie: technically it's not much, but what it lacks of the superlative it makes up in the familiar: you know these people. The simlplicity of the dialogue benefits from the multi-lingual love triangle: what might otherwise seem a stilted sequence of love-movie cliches suits a relationship based on limited vocabulary. Some of the non-verbal communication is far better presented, but even where the director shows and doesn't tell there's not a lot that's groundbreaking. Still, it's solidly put-together, the acting isn't half-bad, and if you're looking for a weepy that isn't a waste of ninety minutes of your time, you could do worse.


TrackBack URL for this entry:


Likewise, I saw this movie on a flight from Japan to Taiwan. I fell in love with it instantly. I've been trying to find it online, but so far no luck.
A first love always remains in a secret place in the heart.

Post a comment

NOTICE TO SPAMMERS, COMMENT ROBOTS, TRACKBACK SPAMMERS AND OTHER NON-HUMAN VISITORS: No comment or trackback left via a robot is ever welcome at Three Years of Hell. Your interference imposes significant costs upon me and my legitimate users. The owner, user or affiliate who advertises using non-human visitors and leaves a comment or trackback on this site therefore agrees to the following: (a) they will pay fifty cents (US$0.50) to Anthony Rickey (hereinafter, the "Host") for every spam trackback or comment processed through any blogs hosted on threeyearsofhell.com, morgrave.com or housevirgo.com, irrespective of whether that comment or trackback is actually posted on the publicly-accessible site, such fees to cover Host's costs of hosting and bandwidth, time in tending to your comment or trackback and costs of enforcement; (b) if such comment or trackback is published on the publicly-accessible site, an additional fee of one dollar (US$1.00) per day per URL included in the comment or trackback for every day the comment or trackback remains publicly available, such fee to represent the value of publicity and search-engine placement advantages.

Giving The Devil His Due

Choose Stylesheet

What I'm Reading

D.C. Noir

My city. But darker.
A Clockwork Orange

About time I read this...


Projects I've Been Involved With

A Round-the-World Travel Blog: Devil May Care (A new round-the-world travel blog, co-written with my wife)
Parents for Inclusive Education (From my Clinic)

Syndicated from other sites

The Columbia Continuum
Other Blogs by CLS students

De Novo
Theory and Practice
Liberal Federalism?
Good News, No Foolin'

Nancy Pelosi covers her head and visits the head of John the Baptist.
Vlogging in from Austin.
Omikase/"American Idol"

Jeremy Blachman's Weblog: 2007
Happy Passover
Looking for Advice re: LA
Google Books

Stay of Execution
What I've Learned From This Blog, or My Yellow Underpants
The End
Mid Thirties

Legal Theory Blog
Program Announcement: Summer Programs on the Constitution at George Washington
Book Announement: Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy by Whittington
Entry Level Hiring Report

The Volokh Conspiracy
Making the Daily Show:
Civil unions pass New Hampshire House:
Profile of Yale Law Dean Harold Koh:

Crescat Sententia
Hillary II
Politics and Principal/Agents

Law Dork
Election Approaches
Following Lewis
New Jersey High Court: 'Same Rights and Benefits'

Surveying the revival
Birds of paradise

Half the Sins of Mankind
Cheney Has Spoken Religious conservatives who may ...
Does Ahmadinejad Know Christianity Better Than MSN...
Borders as Genocide In discussions of climate chan...

For lovers of garden gnomes...and any China-freaks out there
We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

Does SOX explain the flight from NY?
More Litvak on SOX effect on cross-listed firms
What did the market learn from internal controls reporting?

The Yin Blog
Iowa City = Riyadh
Jeffrey Rosen's "The Supreme Court"
Geek alert -- who would win between Battlestar Galactica and the U.S.S. Enterprise?

Letters of Marque
And there we are

Signing Off

Dark Bilious Vapors
Jim (The Waco Kid): Where you headed, cowboy?
Bart: Nowhere special.
Jim: Nowhere special. I always wanted to go there.
Bart: Come on.
--"Blazing Saddles"

Technical Difficulties... please stand by....
The Onion should have gotten a patent first....

Legal Ethics Forum
Interesting new Expert DQ case
Decency, Due Care, and The Yoo-Delahunty Memorandum
Thinking About the Fired U.S. Attorneys

Ex Post
Student Symposium- Chicago!
More Hmong - Now at Law School
Good Samaritan Laws: Good For America?

Appellate Law & Practice
Those turned over documents
CA1: courts can’t help people acquitted of crimes purge the taint of acquitted conduct
CA1: restrictions on chain liquor stores in Rhode Island are STILL okay

the imbroglio
High schoolers turn in plagiarism screeners for copyright infringement
Paris to offer 20,600 bikes at 1,450 stations to rent by the end of the year

The Republic of T.
The Secret of the Snack Attack
links for 2007-04-04
Where You Link is What You Get

Distractions for stressed law students

The Other Side: Twisted AnimationsSomething Positive, a truly good webcomic

Syndicate This Site



Stop Spam Harvesters, Join Project Honey Pot