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J-Movie Review: Evergreen Love

Shokubutsu Zukan or Evergreen Love (English title) is a romance movie based on the book of the same title by Hiro Arikawa. The movie stars Takanori Iwata and Mitsuki Takahata.

Sayaka (Mitsuki Takahata) works for a real state agency. Through her job, she is able to get a decent place for herself. She is unhappy and often seen alone, but seems to get along fine with her coworkers except the boss who often picks on her. Her daily routine is home-work-home with frequent meals from the コンビニ (convenience store).

One night, she finds a guy almost passed out near her house. As she got his attention, he asks her if he can go in and says he won't bite and that he's been raised well. Amused, she lets him in and feeds him instant noodles. Having had a drink prior that moment, she woke up and thought she had the weirdest dream. But the smell of breakfast had her rushing out of bed and finding the stranger in the kitchen.

I was able to watch Evergreen Love in the plane (it's one of the things I like with traveling). The love story is not complicated, but what makes this unusual and generally unacceptable (at least in the Philippines) is to pick up a passed out stranger from the street and even take him home. I see nothing wrong with helping someone out, only with taking the stranger inside your house. That's just... No. Anyway, the simplicity of this romance movie makes it a good watch.

Sayaka seemed detached at everything. She doesn't hang out with friends and lets her boss accuse of her things. When she met and let Itsuki stay at her place for 6 months, her life changed for the better. They also fell in love. Though their romance was fleeting. He left without any information for Sayaka to be able to find him. That was difficult for her. (I know from experience.) Instantly, she went back to her old routine.

Life wouldn't be any better if you don't help yourself; nothing will change. I liked how, instead of being sour or hateful, she picked herself up. She started to cook for herself like how Itsuki did for her. She visited the places they went to. Even though she was alone, she was happy and hopeful. Hopeful that maybe Itsuki will one day show up at her door again. Itsuki has his share of troubles too and meeting Sayaka helped him as well even if meant leaving her.

Mitsuki Takahata's character barely has any dialogue. But she did well showing the character's feelings of acceptance of a sad life, happiness, love, jealousy, and frustration. Watch this if you can. Evergreen Love won't make you, even the heartbroken, shed manly tears.

Takanori Iwata as Itsuki
Mitsuki Takahata as Sayaka
Joji Abe as Yohei Takezawa
Hana Imai as Yurie Nogami

Evergreen Love DVD is available at YesAsia in Normal and Deluxe editions.

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