Some films I am interested in seeing when I identify with the synopsis. The other day, I read a review well related to the subject of this blog: “Oh Lucy. A Japanese American film in which a fortysomething, SHY, UNHAPPY AND DEPRESSED woman goes in search of a new life in a touching and sensitive road movie ”.
Of course, I watched with the premise of the spinster cliché. The woman is half old, half young, unattractive, without a husband, without children, with 3 cats, sad and envious.
Well, I watched it. And I can say that the film was a pleasant surprise. In fact, it’s not even an unforgettable movie, I thought it was average. But it is one of those films that you go out and reflect on for a month. From here, there will be spoilers for the film, including the ending, so if you don’t want to know, don’t read it.
The story of the film is as follows: a Japanese woman in her 40s lives a lonely life in Tokyo, in a tedious job, alone and with a toxic relation with her sister. In a liberating period of her life, she says goodbye to her tedious job and, at the same time, buys from her niece a package of English lessons with a bad but hot teacher (the very cute Josh Harnett). Allured with the techniques and skills of the magic teacher, she gains an American name “Lucy” and a blonde wig and starts attending classes. However, suddenly the hot teacher returns to the United States, and the worst, with her niece.
She joins her sister with whom she has many fights in search of her niece and the hot teacher of course, and like every road movie, on her journey she transforms and has a new meaning for life.
I felt some chills during the film. Yes, I ended up identifying myself in parts with the protagonist. The actress, by the way, is great. Long career for her, because we need to put the Japanese people more in the cinema. The good thing is that I only identified myself because she was 1) in her 40s 2) single 3) japa. However, her character is, in fact, a lonely and depressed woman in her 40s. Also, it is to be expected. Live a shitty little life. She doesnt have Money, good friends, nice Family. No social life, no travel.
Some triggers happen at the beginning of the film to slap her in the face that her life has to change: the first sequence shows a boy who suicides jumping in the subway gap in front of her. Her co-worker, much older, is forcibly retired, resulting in a comical, yet heartbreaking and truly sad scene.
Then she falls in love with the young and handsome teacher who, of course, does not care for her, but for her beautiful and useless niece.
But the journey through the United States ends up changing her life. No, she doesn’t marry the handsome professor. But she enjoys him . She does not reconcile with her sister , on the contrary, she breaks off relationships for good and for both. She doesn’t get a super job or a super bop in the US, ends up going back to the usual life in Tokyo and almost kills herself. But like any comedy drama film, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
A hell of a trip: she smokes marijuana, sleeps with the handsome teacher by force, gets a tattoo. But that is not what makes it change.
What makes it change is that she ends up getting rid of all the toxic people in her life, including her family, and opens up space to meet good people, including her uncle’s partner in English classes who ends up giving a happy hope at the end .
The movie gave me chills, I repeat. Despite being a bit of a cliché, the aunt in her 40s who never married and has no children, and has no perspective on life other than a boring job, it is true. The cliché comes from pattern repetitions. And I could easily have been the main protagonist of the film. I tend to be alone, antisocial and kind of angry. And accumulator. But between my 20s and 25s some triggers happened for me to change my posture. I will speak of them in other tales. And I thank God for them. Many were traumatic experiences, but a slap in the face to change their lives.
I am alone, an accumulator and I have no children. But I am not grumpy (only when I am hungry and sleepy) and I have a fullfilled life (in my opinion).
What you do with your life and how you enjoy it comes from 95% of your perception and way of looking at life, and 5% of luck or bad luck events (accidents, encounters with people, tragedies, surprises). The Lucy in the movie didn’t change because she moved to another country, or because her hometown changed, or because she met a new guy, or because she changed jobs. In fact, what I liked about the movie is that it changed on its own. Of course she had the triggers and the crazy road trip, but unlike American movies where the character has her salvation because she knows the boy or woman in her life, she changed because she was able to see beyond.
I also identified with some pillars that are real lessons to practice in our life. Sometimes we forget how important they are, and then a movie like this comes to warn us again:
Have friends or acquaintances from scratch. Friends who are fun but don’t cheer for your fire should be discarded. Solid friends have to be protected and cultivated for life. Here the beautiful text ends and the crude and true text begins: imagine your wake. Who will be in it crying for your departure? If you are lucky enough, who will celebrate with you? If you risk venturing, who will cheer for you, instead of making parallel comments rooting for your impending failure? I will talk about this in another story, but in certain moments of our life, we surround ourselves with several friends, who are together with us on the trips, in the conversations of bars, but that none is there by your side. Don’t be afraid to discard them and look for others that are true
The triggers. I’m sure everyone has their dose of triggers that make you rethink your life. I am a cautious person and far from being the crazy gal, and yet I have had countless in my life: the sudden loss of all my grandparents, a terrible robbery at my home, the early death of a close friend, an unexpected trip alone, an almost airplane crash.
Triggers do not occur in your life simply to scare you, but to put a mirror every now and then in front of you and show you a different path to take.
Work your insides to change.
Your self. Your fire in the tail. Your big head, my friend.
You can have all kinds of warnings in your life to change, and if it doesn’t come from you, you will stay the same.
Lucy from the movie had to go through several triggers until she changed her mind. It wasn’t the night with the heartthrob, nor the new tattoo that made her change, but everything she was proud to go through on the trip. The movie could be completely different, if she didn’t quit her job, if she hadn’t taken her niece’s classes, if she hadn’t gone after the hot teacher.
I find it very valid every year for people to be dissatisfied with our current situation and want some changes. For that, exercising the brain is fundamental. A night with discussion with friends (not only when we are all drunk) , recommended therapists, in-depth conversations with your best and faithful confidants, because bar talk is funny but does not fill the soul.