Rolf’s review published on Letterboxd:
A craftsman (Issey Takahashi) who creates sex dolls for a living falls in love with a model from work (Yû Aoi) and marries her. While he tries to create the perfect doll, his marriage starts to fall apart...
Unlike Hirokazu Koreeda's AIR DOLL this movie is completely based in reality and explores the relationship of the lead couple which takes some surprising turns to say the least.
I'm again completely blown away by how good Yû Aoi is as an actress. Here she gives a very subtle performance and it was interesting so see her teamed up with Issey Takahashi again after WIFE OF A SPY in which both play a couple as well.
ROMANCE DOLL does also obviously comment on the politics of Japan in terms of the sex industry and the rise of those 'real dolls' but it remains more of a side note as 'real love' is the center piece of the movie which cannot be compensated by those dolls and that plays out so very well in the movie's final act.
Oh and there needs to be a deluXXXe Blu Ray edition which includes a Yû doll of course ;) :D
Make or Break Scene: Doll tear.
MVT: The screenplay.
Score: 8/ 10