Yu wo wakasuhodo no atsui ai   2016   Japan Her Love Boils Bathwater
Her Love Boils Bathwater Image Cover
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Director:Ryôta Nakano
Studio:Hakuhodo DY Music & Pictures
Writer:Ryôta Nakano
IMDb Rating:8.2 (10 votes)
Awards:10 wins & 4 nominations
Duration:125 min
Ryôta Nakano  ...  (Director)
Ryôta Nakano  ...  (Writer)
Rie Miyazawa  ...  
Hana Sugisaki  ...  
Tarô Suruga  ...  
Aoi Itô  ...  
Tôri Matsuzaka  ...  
Joe Odagiri  ...  
Yukiko Shinohara  ...  
Hiroshi Suzuki  ...  
Comments: This film made me want to cry so much I had to start laughing about it. It's so jam-packed full of over the top, unbelievable drama I have no idea how it maintains itself as a lighthearted comedy. But it does. Let me see if I can unpack this monster:

First of all, on a general synopsis level, it's about a single (when we meet her) mom (Rie Miyazawa) to a sixteen year old (Hana Sugisaki), who finds out she has terminal cancer and only a few months to live. The first thing she does is hire a private investigator to find her husband (Odigari Jo) who ditched her and the 16 y/old about a year ago. The husband gets found quickly but has a nine year old daughter of his own in tow who landed on his doorstep about a year ago. Husband Jo had an affair with a woman nine years previous and the woman decided to dump the girl on him recently so she could go off and play, or something. So that becomes the basic family: mom, dad, 16, and 9.

Spoiler Alert (because all this stuff unfolds in surprise after surprise):

Mom hasn't told her 16 y/old yet about her illness. She decides to take 16 and 9 on a two day road trip to break the news. During the road trip they meet a hitchhiker who has family drama he's running away from so they kind of take him in. He's invited to come visit them at their home after he goes on more road trip to find a goal in life. Before mom breaks the news of her illness, she tells her daughter that the deaf and mute woman who just cooked them lunch (giant spider crab!) is her birth mother. But it's all in the family. Her dad is also her dad in this case. Odigari Jo gets around. Then mom collapses and ends up in the hospital. Consider the news broken. (The deaf and mute woman was so saddened back then that she couldn't hear her infant daughter cry she decided to run away).

I don't know what to say. This film is so ridiculous you'll get dizzy rolling your eyes, but somehow it works. The director ascends a mountain of cheese and then turns it into a glorious fondue. It works because the characters are all real and broken but good on the inside. And all the actors are terrific. Rie Miyazawa is Oscar caliber good as the super super super mom. Odigari Jo is Odigari Jo, an adorable boof. But I'm going to single out Hana Sugisaki as the 16 y/old for extra praise. I first spotted her last year in Pieta in the Toilet. It's hard to declare a 19 year girl a great actress, so lets just call it smarts and charisma. She can play a kid, and she can pwn adults. She's the next Fumi Naikada. Look out for her.

Her Love Boils Bathwater is pure feel good family drama that somehow hangs onto an indie quality. All the tragedies come wrapped in sweetness. It's uncanny. Every line of dialog in the film has a counterpoint somewhere else in the film. It's extremely thick, but the direction is so clear you're unlikely to miss a single beat. The film is really a 10/10 of perfection but I had to deduct a couple points because it's so nice. It has about four or five "endings". I didn't get the final one (although I have my suspicions. I think her love is boiling the bathwater).

Believe it or not I've only scratched the surface of this flick. There's a scene where the 16 y/old strips down to her bra and panties that might make you boo and hiss and throw popcorn at the screen but the director wraps it in so much "fuck yeah!" you will forgive him a moment later and applaud the scene. The guy's got unbelievable chops when it comes to film language and assembling a movie. I can't believe he laid all the stuff out in a script and thought "Yeah, I got this". It's ridiculous. Beautifully ridiculous and ridiculously beautiful.

Summary: Futaba (Rie Miyazawa) has a tender and tough side. Her daughter is Azumi (Hana Sugisaki). One day, she learns that she doesn't have much time left to live. Futaba decides she has 4 things to do before she dies: 1.) she wants to find her missing husband and get him to resume the family bathhouse business 2.) get her daughter Azumi to stand on her own 3.) find the right man for Azumi and 4.) related to her secret that nobody knows about it.

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