Also known as
Warai no Daigaku
Japan [2004] - 121m
Directed by
Mamoru Hoshi
More info on
University of Laughs poster


July 13, 2020


University of Laughs presents an epic battle between a grumpy censor and a spirited play writer. The censor doesn't understand comedy at all and wants to see a more upright play, while the play writer is working against a deadline and is doing his best to please the censor as well as his theater group.

Most of the film is set in a single, bleak and uninviting room, where the back and forth between these two characters happens. There are some scenes outside too, yet they are scarce. Hoshi really didn't make it easy on himself, but some cinematic tricks help him to keep the film from becoming stale, even though it still ends up being a little too long.

Yakusho and Inagaki both turn in very solid performances, Yakusho in particular is clearly having a lot of fun here. The pacing is slow but the film never really lags or gets boring, even when the story and outcome are quite predictable. If only it could've been a bit shorter, but as it is, it's still a solid, entertaining film.