Amélie is a writer (yet to write her first masterpiece) from Belgium but she was born in Japan. Her issue is she wants to be Japanese. At 20 years old, she buys a one way ticket to Japan. After putting up posters offering to teach French, she receives a call from young and wealthy Rinri. Before she knows it, she falls into a strange relationship with her student.
Wow, okay. What to say about Tokyo Fiancée?
On a daily basis we meet people who are not happy with who they are, what they are or what they have in life. We are all guilty of wanting to be or to have something we think we deserve. Amélie is no different. In a way she believes she was meant to be Japanese and her parents stole that from her and she was going to take it back. She wanted everything Japanese from the language, to the lifestyle and the man. Whens he begins this relationship with Rinri, it seems as if she is genuinely interested in him. But as time passes and she muddles through her daily life, you being to notice what is truly going on; a mutual exploitation between Rinri and Amélie.
While cultures did not collide in this movie which was a refreshingly new point of view, there was something to be said about trying to be something you’re not–whether you’re being this new thing for yourself or the people around you, it can never end well. We cannot be honest with anyone else unless we are willing to face and be who we are.
Pauline Etienne was spectacular as Amélie. Her Japanese was flawless and it was only at the end when there was a Q and A session, we found out she doesn’t speak a word of the language! That is one of the truest marks of a great thespian. Taichi Inoue who plays Rinri was refreshing and completely molded his talents with Pauline’s. They make a perfect on screen couple. The crazy thing about Taichi is, no matter how much I search, I keep finding the same thing – This movie is his first role!
Although I enjoyed Tokyo Fiancée immensely, I did have one small problem with the movie. Not all the storylines were answered in the end. They went through all this work making Rinri’s parents creepy with random video cameras in the house as well as a sit down conversation with Amélie about “trust” yet we never did find out why they parents were the way they were or why the camera was there. They kind of abandoned that storyline completely. It would have been nice to explore it.
Tokyo Fiancée comes to the same conclusion I expected. And while I saw it coming, as a romance author, I felt a little cheated. But don’t let that deter you. Tokyo Fiancée is a wonderful lesson in being yourself and being honest with yourself, honours those around you. Being someone else is never the answer and it can never end well.