a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Wakiyaku monogatari / 脇役物語 / Cast me if you can

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Atsushi Ogata’s gentle comedy, Cast Me If You Can, follows the story of good guy, Hiroshi (Toru Masuoka), an actor stuck in playing supporting parts. His self-esteem takes a beating as he also lives a secondary role under the shadow of his father (Masahiko Tsugawa), a famous novelist. When his big break comes along, he gets publicly mistaken as the love interest of a MP’s wife and his company cancels his contract. As things fall apart, he meets Aya (Hiromi Nagasaku), a bubbly young actress. But even the growing romance between the two takes a bit of a second place in Hiroshi’s life. Reconciling love, dad career and self is the motivation that sets Hiroshi on some misguided adventures that ultimately run headlong into a happy ending. Ogata directs some of the bits a bit broadly, but still keeps a sensitive hand over the trajectory of whole story. In an era where mean-spirited comedy rules, it’s a pleasure to watch inept, but likeable, human beings given a chance play their roles. Even the bit parts.

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