Thursday, May 16, 2013
Finally, .... 101 Proposals
Finally, somebody has decided to remake my all time favourite TV series, the Japanese romantic comedy 101 Proposal. You will cry buckets and laugh like a lunatic if you have watched it before. The remake is a China production with Lin Chiling, whom I have never thought to be much of a talent, but did well. The always funny and self deprecating Bo Huang. To consolidate a TV series into a movie is never an easy task, but its pretty good.
If you have a few hours to spend, go watch the entire 12 episodes on You Tube. I have linked the first episode at the bottom (yes, got English subtitles).
The original 101st Marriage Proposal is a "Beauty and the Beast" story starring Takeda Tetsuya (Virgin Road, 3 nen B gumi Kinpachi Sensei) as a down-on-his-luck man who has gone through 99 omiai (arranged dates with the intention of marriage if the date goes well). Not particularly smart, nor handsome, nor rich, he is a man who cannot lie and of course, has a heart of pure gold. On the 100th omiai, he meets Kaoru (Asano Atsuko), an extremely beautiful and talented cellist who can't forget her dead fiancee.
So, Takeda has had 100 arranged dates with marriage in mind setting but its the 100th date that caused him to abandon the "arranged marriage" mentality and pursue true love and devotion. The entire series has him trying to pursue the girl and failing and failing, with comical results. Besides the many things that were seemingly incompatible, she cannot love again as she fears anyone she loves will die on her again like her fiancee. Why is the thing called 101 Proposals ... well ... the 101th proposal is by the girl asking Takeda to marry her, thats why.
Its such an iconic series helped by the ever brilliant Chage & Aska theme song Say Yes which can be heard throughout the series and also in the new Mandarin remake. A side note, am I the only one to notice that Takeda Tetsuya, the original lead, made a cameo appearance as the husband of the girl's teacher from Japan - what a gem of cinematic kismet.
The series was made back in 1991 ... but you can certainly see and count how many more recent movies have stolen ideas left right and center from the series ... HK, China, Korea, America...
If you do not have the time to watch the movie or the series, well at least watch the final 14 minutes of the original series ending as they provide the entire flashback of the courtship and ending. The series is infinitely better as its like 12 movies, and there are many great relationships .... the most touching is between Takeda and his good looking brother.
Watch the whole original series, start with Episode 1, there are 12. If English subtitles are not showing, look for the Caption button and turn to English.