The Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles (the Istituto Italiano di Cultura) and The Consul General of Italy present the following screening:
The Ramen Girl
Directed by Robert Allan Ackerman and music composed by Carlo Siliotto in attendance
Wednesday, May 26, 7:00PM
Istituto Italiano di Cultura Los Angeles
1023 Hilgard Avenue, Westwood, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Discounted valet parking available at Palomino Restaurant with IIC validation
RSVP by May 24 at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ramen Girl synopsis
Abby, played by Brittany Murphy in her last screen performance, comes to Tokyo to be with her boyfriend, Ethan who has a job there. Shortly after she arrives, Ethan decides that he’s just not that into her and accepts a transfer to Osaka.
He tells her that she can stay in his apartment and that with any luck, he may return. Abby is devastated. Alone in Japan, she feels that returning to America would be another defeat in a long line of unhappy failures.
She has always had trouble holding down jobs and her family regards her a screw up.
Down the street from her apartment is a tiny ramen shop which, one rainy night, Abby walks into for a meal and some refuge. The owner is an angry drunk, Maezumi (played by Toshiyuki Nishida) who tries unsuccessfully to throw her out of the shop because it’s closed.
She begins to cry and rattle on about all the recent woes that have befallen her. Not understanding a word of English, he finally relents and serves her a bowl of ramen. The broth and the noodles have a soothing effect and Abby finds herself returning again and again to the tiny shop.
When the time comes for her to finally have to leave Japan (her parents have sent her a ticket home) she makes a sudden and astonishing decision. She decides that she wants to learn to cook ramen and she wants Maezumi to be her teacher.
He is appalled. Somehow the two forge a relationship, despite the fact that neither one can understand a word that the other one is saying. The result is a funny and moving story about cultural gaps, the budding of a young artist and the ability for someone to grow and find ones’ authentic self in a totally foreign environment.
Q&A with director, Robert Allan Ackerman and composer, Carlo Siliotto