December 24, 2003
The notion that Americans have little respect for other cultures is nothing new, and truth be told it's probably in all of us. The critiques that this film is overtly racist are a bit farfetched in my opinion, then again it's a sign of the times, and I wasn't really surprised to bump into them.
I did wonder why this was made into a film though, as I felt the story would've worked a lot better as a book. The presentation is dry and boring. Character progression in spades, but film is an audiovisual experience first and foremost and in that respect Coppola fails horribly. If you shoot a film in Tokyo, you simply need to do better.
There's also an overdose of silly Japanese stereotypes, then again it probably could've been worse for a Hollywood film. On the other hand, this is not so much a comedy as it is a drama, so the bar should've been a little higher. Johansson and Murray couldn't save it for me either, this was quite a big disappointment.