Romance Doll

Romance Doll ★★★½

A fine Japanese drama with some quirky elements, but also one that feels a little too comfortable to really rise above its peers. I've seen my share of these film and while they're generally intriguing, effective and well-made, they sometimes lack a little boldness and vision to stand out.

Director Tanada attempts to stir things up by having the main character work as a love doll sculptor. A fact he tries to keep hidden from his wife, who served as an unbeknownst model for one of his designs. But in the end that doesn't really change the dynamics, nor the tone of the film. Apart from a handful of stand-alone scenes, Romance Doll will feel very familiar.

Performances are excellent, which isn't a big surprise with Yu Aoi and Issey Takahashi in the lead roles. The cinematography is good, but nothing out of the ordinary, the same goes for the soundtrack. All in all it's a fine film, I really haven't anything bad to say about it, it's just nothing I hadn't seen before.