Lost in Racism
from Steve at fm4
The problem is that Japanese characters in the movie are moulded into that old false stereotype. The attitude that all Japanese people are eccentric or overly-polite and the only way for anyone from the west to interact with them is to talk over their heads at their expense. And here it just seems like almost every time a Japanese person appears on screen, he (or she) is there as padding for a sarcastic observation by Bill Murray's "Bob".
Come on? Are you serious? That's the whole point of the movie. It's two people lost in a culture they don't understand. Everything seems over the top to them, strange and mysterious. Everyone and everything is a stereotype the first time you encounter it. Bob and Charlotte don't understand the language. All they have to go on is sight. They can't see if someone is smart and witty when they can't understand the words that are coming out they're mouth. I think any smart person watching this movie can tell that your're not seeing a movie about Japan. Showing the people of Japan is not the goal of the film. It just so happens that the story takes place with Japan as a backdrop.
In the interview below, Kai Yu says that you never get to know the Japanese characters in the movie beyond face value. I think he makes my point by saying that there's a rift between the main characters and the Japenese characters, and that they don't interact in any deep manner. Like I said that's the point of the movie. They can't interact because of the language barrien. I guess in a way the deep and meaningful conversations are lost in translation.
I don't mean to be so sarcastic about this, but people need to understand that not everything has to be politically correct. The next thing I'll here is that a kung fu movie is bad because it shows an Asian actor doing martial arts. Do Asians, and minorities in general, need more roles in Hollywood? Yes. But only where the story calls for it. Don't take away from a story to please people.
title: Lost in Racism - Reality Check Interview with Kai Yu