Adapted from Ni D’Eve Ni D’Adam by Amélie Nothomb, Tokyo Fiancée was directed by Stefan Liberski and stars Pauline Etienne, Taichi Inoue & Julie LeBreton.
Premise: A young Japanophile Belgian woman in Tokyo falls into a whirlwind romance with a Francophile Japanese student.
Review: Tokyo Fiancée is an initiatory trip to finding your identity, Amélie (Pauline Etienne) embarks on a journey to find herself. Born in Japan from Belgian parents, she leaves Belgium for the country of her dreams, Japan. Marveling at a culture and a language she feels she missed out on and wants to absorb, but the metamorphosis is not as swift as she had hoped.
The film has the sensibility and beauty of Japanese and French film making. It’s sweet, innocent and a bit dark. Slowly immersing the audience into a country, a city, and a culture it introduces Japan beautifully through Amélie and Rinri (Taichi Inoue)’s eyes. They both aspire to learn from each other and almost inevitably become close.
Amélie and Rinri may be culturally different but they seem to share the same quirkiness. The actors are both touching in the film, they made Rinri and Amélie feel real and natural. Pauline Etienne smartly portrayed Amélie’s bubbly personality and her evolution throughout the movie. The film also smartly integrated the events of Fukushima in the story, making the horrid fit into the atypical love story.
Quirky, funny and beautiful Tokyo Fiancéeis not exactly a love story, more of a friendship love story. It shows Japan brilliantly, as exciting and slightly confusing as that it may be.