Critic Consensus: Thanks to director Juzo Itami's offbeat humor and sharp satirical edge, Tampopo is a funny, sexy, affectionate celebration of food and its broad influence on Japanese culture.
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as Rich Old Man
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as Company's Staff
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Critic Reviews for Tampopo
In Tampopo, every aspect of life is filtered through the prism of food - its rituals of preparation and consumption, its role as a social unifier or divider, its many healthy uses and perverse abuses.
It unfolds as a series of madcap, effortlessly charming comic vignettes, centred around food and food culture in mid-'80s Japan.
There are many love stories folded into this film's enjoyably meandering two hours, but "Tampopo" is above all about the romance of food, and the joyous, agonizing devotion and hard work required to tease out its manifold mysteries.
A biting satire of Japanese culture and its uneasy incorporation of Western influences.
Japanese films have commented before on the intrinsic connection between food and sex, but not with the erotic gusto of Juzo Itami's Tampopo and rarely with the comic lustiness of this broad-scale satire.
Itami's humor and invention is such that we never have a chance to feel deprived. His stylistic palette and sense of fun are so wide-ranging that he can oscillate between brightness and darkness to articulate one gag.
Audience Reviews for Tampopo
Tampopo is a light-hearted feel-good comedy with a heavy focus on making a winning bowl of ramen and setting up a great shop. There were quite a few bits I found to be random which were probably cultural references but if you are amused by randomness then you'll find they flow in with the rest of the general wackiness. While I don't rate it quite on the level of Cantonese comedies such as the God of Cookery, Tampopo is still a fun view.
A timeless feast for the senses, saw it twice in college with friends. We ate ramen before watching it, but still left in the middle of the movie to go get more. It will taunt your appetite and twist your salivating imagination around its chopsticks until your craving can't hold out any longer. Hilarious and very Asian vignettes about the cultural importance of food in a Japan that's trying to westernize without losing its Nippon identity. (The beggar foodies especially reminded me of the Chinese wuxia stories.) And it's a delight to watch the sweet, understated chivalry between Goro and Tampopo.
Juzo Itami creates one piece of work in Tampopo, a film that centers around ramen. This movie will make you hungry for noodles. I don't care if you are sick or you just ate. You will be hungry for noodles.
When it comes down to it, this film is about a group of people that help turn a middle aged woman's cheap ramen shop into the best one in town. However, there is much more in this movie than just that. Why? I do not know. The beginning starts off with a man talking to the audience (you) about manners while watching a movie. The opening credits is then in black and white and finally we are under way.
The story is interesting and there is sort of a childish tone to it, which keeps things fun. Speaking of fun, throughout this film there are scenes that have just no meaning in here. There are a few love scenes, an old woman in a grocery store, a man rushing home to his dying wife, etc. The ONLY thing these scenes have in common is food. The love scenes involve food as an aphrodisiac. There is nudity and all. The old woman in the grocery store is smashing food with her fingers. The man rushes home to his dying wife so she can cook her last meal. Why are these scenes there? To make the movie longer? To make the story more entertaining? No matter the reason, they are there and they will get people laughing.
Nobuko Miyamoto and Tsutomu Yamazaki both carry this movie nicely and the supporting cast follow their leaders.
Tampopo is one film that is hard to pass up. Also, what is up with the end credits?
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