The good stuff
Talk about a film with mood swings. The first half offer a solid combo of dry and dark comedy. Nothing too overt, but there are some good laughs. The second half is dark, brutal and delivers a serious kick in the gut. One of the most crass and surprising turnarounds I've seen, but it sure was impressive to witness.
A neat little surprise. The film reminded me a little of the gritty Japanese dramadies that were in fashion ten years ago. Come On Irene offers a weird blend of genres that's pretty much impossible to pin down. The fact that it's so unpredictable is both a blessing and a curse, but in the end the balance is positive.
Iwao is a deadbeat who still lives with his parents. He has a crummy job in a pachinko parlor, and he has no outlook on finding a proper soulmate. One day he decides to pack up and go to the Philippines to buy himself a wife. When he returns, his father is deceased and his mother isn't too pleased with Iwao's choices in life.
Performances are strong, the film looks rather polished and even though it's quite long, it never really drags. The main reason is that director Yoshida keeps jumping between comedy, crime and drama, which makes it difficult to see where it is all leading. The film comes quite close to greatness, but stops short of making it all the way.