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Review by Kristina Campbell
Rating: (3 out of 5)
Saturday, 10/13/2007, 3:00 PM
Feature presentation, $10 at Lincoln Theatre
WHEN THE HAPPY-go-lucky Ichiko (Rei Yoshii) and the studious, serious Eri (Asami Imajuku) navigate the unpredictable journey out of the closet in Japan, they both get lessons to remember in Love My Life.
This beautiful film is rich in perspective, from the young lesbians at the center of the story and Ichiko’s gay male sidekick Také to some older adults whose unexpected stories add texture and depth to the story. The characters are navigating various stages of their sexual identities, each with a poignancy that captivates and holds the viewer.
The movie’s heroine is Ichiko, whose giddiness is endearing rather than annoying. We watch her world become more complex when she comes out to her father. And we join her on a sometimes heartbreaking journey in her relationship with Eri, who is worried about passing her law school entrance exams and seems reluctant to prioritize Ichiko in her life, especially at the cost of her academic goals.
”What do you think will happen if it all comes out?” Eri asks Ichiko as they’re lying together in bed. ”They’ll be all over us. And there are more important things I have to do.” Such a proclamation (especially during an otherwise intimate moment) would send many running for the door, never to look back, but Ichiko takes it in, albeit with no small amount of apprehension in her expression. Later, she challenges Eri on this thinking, and growth opportunities abound.
The movie has something for everyone. To dismiss it as a chick flick or one of those lesbian titles that gay male viewers won’t appreciate is a disservice. The themes are universal, the acting is fantastic, story is well-developed. And, yes, the female main characters are lovely and they do get naked together from time to time. But anyone who objects to that can take the opportunity to hit the snack bar. — Kristina Campbell