Friday, November 9, 2018

50 First Kisses - HIFF 2018 Movie Review

The Movie: 50 First Kisses

The Director: Yûichi Fukuda

The Cast: Takayuki Yamada, Masami Nagasawa, Taiga, Jiro Sato, Myhraliza Aala, Tsuyoshi Muro, Katsuya, Hiroyasu Yamasaki

The Story: Meeting the woman of your dreams in Hawaii is a blessing until you discover she has short-term memory loss and forgets everything the very next day.

The Review:
Yes, this is a remake of 50 First Dates which starred Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Being a big fan of Sandler and Barrymore and the movie as a while, I was very interested to see how it would fare without the two likable leads in place. After watching, I have to say that, other than a few minor bits and pieces that are changed, it is a very faithful recreation of that hit film and ends up giving a very similar, heart warming vibe. The actors who play the primary roles in this version are Takayuki Yamada and Masami Nagasawa who are every bit as likable both individually and together as their American counterparts. The chemistry is very real which may have come from their having worked together on a previous film, Say Hello to Me, back in 2007.

If you have not seen the original, there will be tons of comedy and fun surprises in the story that will have you laughing and entertained from start to finish. I you have seen the original, you will still very much enjoy this version partly for nostalgia because of how faithful the film makers were to the source material and also just because it is so much fun. Keeping the story in Hawaii makes sense for the story but also because the islands are just so beautiful and amazing to look at on screen. Director Yûichi Fukuda takes full advantage of the backdrop and does a great job of showing the local flavor of Hawaii rather than just the classic tourist stops.

50 First Kisses is a wonderful walk through familiar territory and will leave you with such a good feeling from having experienced all the emotions. Takayuki Yamada and Masami Nagasawa were perfectly cast for this movie and do such a good job with their characters, it makes me glad knowing I will remember them when I wake up tomorrow.

50 First Kisses is an official selection of the 2018 Hawaii International Film Festival. coverage of the 2018 Hawaii International Film Festival.

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