a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Love Addiction / ふゆの獣

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Love Addiction follows the story of a young ménage a quatre. The otaku romantic, Noburu (Kosuke Tataki) has an unrequited jones for kawaii Saeko (Momoko Maekawa) who’s seeing the jerk, Shigehisa (Hiroyuki Sato), who’s two-timing his girlfriend-in-denial, Yukako (Megumi Kato). Ripping a page out of Cassavette’s handbook on making films of intense emotion and letting actors fly on the improvisational highwire, Love Addiction reaches high and falls short. Way short. There is a moment or two – as when Shigesa concocts a story/alibi/lie that reaches toward the rambling riff inspiration of Ben Gazzara or Elliot Gould. But a moment or two does not a movie make. The handheld camera and quick cuts handle the youthful energy on display, but whatever emotional complexity and character dynamics could have happened are marred by the directionless improvisation of most of the cast. Sato shines best, holding his performance close to his vest. However in the scene where everyone has it out, director Nobuteru Uchida pulls out the cliché of vomiting as emotional catharsis making Love Addiction nearly unforgivable.

Originally published in EL Magazine, July 2011.

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

July 2, 2011 at 1:08 am

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