Gou-Gou datte neko de aru   2008   Japan Gu Gu, the Cat
Gu Gu, the Cat Image Cover
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Director:Isshin Inudô
Studio:Asmik Ace Entertainment
Writer:Isshin Inudô, Yumiko Ôshima
IMDb Rating:6.9 (123 votes)
Awards:2 wins
Genre:Drama
Duration:116 min
Languages:Japanese
IMDb:1255872
Search:NetflixYouTube
Isshin Inudô  ...  (Director)
Isshin Inudô, Yumiko Ôshima  ...  (Writer)
 
Kyôko Koizumi  ...  Asako Kojima
Juri Ueno  ...  Naomi
Ryo Kase  ...  Seiji Sawamura
Denden  ...  Kajiwara
Marty Friedman  ...  Paul Weinberg
Naojirô Hayashi  ...  Mamoru
Tatsuya Isaka  ...  Tatsuya
Asei Kobayashi  ...  Taisuke Yamamoto
Sally Kobayashi  ...  
Kazuko Kurosawa  ...  Michiko
Chieko Matsubara  ...  Asako's mother
Hiroki Murakami  ...  Tanaka
Tomoko Murakami  ...  Sakie
Suzuka Ohgo  ...  Saba Ingan
Ai Takabe  ...  Kyoko
Takahiro Tsutai  ...  Cinematographer
Haruomi Hosono  ...  Composer
Chieko Suzaki  ...  Editor
Comments: Major misfire. What on earth is Marty Friedman doing in this movie? First of all, this flick has very little to do with, and gives very little screen time to, cats. When the little felines do get a moment in the spotlight it is usually accompanied by some silly video game sound effects. To what end, I cannot fathom. Just like Marty Friedman. The ex-Megadeath guitarist plays an English teacher who has nothing to do with anything except looking like a cross between Kenny G and a beardless Harry Shearer as Derek Smalls in This is Spinal Tap. He acts as a narrator of sorts in the film and breaks the fourth wall when acting as a guide to various hot spots around the trendy Kichijoji neighborhood. Why he is doing any of this in the film, I don't know. Perhaps it is some sleight of hand trying to take our attention away from the three fat girls in the movie who serve no purpose except being the brunt of fat jokes. How lame is that?

There is one sort of take-your-breath-away moment in the film when Suzuka Ohgo, who played the blue-eyed little girl in Memoirs of a Geisha, shows up as the human incarnation of the main character's dead cat. She is sitting in the shadows at a table for quite some time as if, since she is playing a dead cat, we are not going to ever see who she is or what she looks like. When the camera finally acknowledges her face ... oh my, the girl is maturing nicely. Beautiful smile.

I like Kyôko Koizumi quite a bit, and she does her best, although sullenly so, as the main character who gets depressed when her cat Ca Va (the one later played by Suzuka Ohgo) dies. Juri Ueno's character is much more appealing. She actually gives the film hope as she tries to cheer up Koizumi and the movie. Koizumi finally gets a new cat, Gu Gu, but then she gets cancer and blah blah blah.

This film is a real dud. It felt like the only people who might remotely enjoy the silly set piece antics would be the people who made the film. It comes off as an inside joke we are on the outside of. I'm a cat person and had high hopes for this film after absolutely loving the director's Josee, the Tiger and the Fish. But, nope. There's nothing here.

★★

Summary: Asako, a comic book artist in her early forties, is devastated by the death of her precious cat, Saba, which kept her company for over 15 years, as her assistant Naomi watches on with concern. Naomi is a young woman in her early twenties, who has her set of worries about love and future. Then one day, Asako meets a new cat, Goo-goo, which brings new joy and vitality to her life. What is more, she finds potential for love in a man named Seiji. Like Asako, Naomi, too, embarks on a new life plan.


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