Lost in Memory

After I had so much fun recapping Alien months after I had seen it, I asked Jochen what movie to do next. Here’s the result:

(Everything you’re about to read is written purely from (most likely faulty) memory. I did not check any facts or names or how to spell them. The last time I saw “Lost in Translation” was in 2004, I think)

Lost in Translation” is a film directed by Sophia Coppola, starring Bill Murray, Scarlett Johannson and Giovanni Ribisi. It came out in, let’s say, 2003.

In it, Murray plays himself a washed-up actor who comes to Tokyo, Japan, to film a commercial for MacCutcheon whisky. One scene at a Karaoke bar and one outside in the streets of Tokyo aside, the whole movie takes place inside the hotel Murray is staying in.

One evening, all wallowing in self-pity and booze, he meets Johannson at the hotel bar. She’s in Japan with her husband Giovanni Risibini (or “Frank, Jr. from ‘Friends,'” as he shall be known from now on) but they don’t get along very well. I think Frank, Jr. is kind of an asshole? Anyway, of course dirty old Bill hits on Scarlett and while she is sorta into him (he’s classy and wise and old which are all things Frank, Jr. is not) she plays hard to get because, really, the film would be over in 20 minutes if she didn’t.

So at first Winger is all cynical and done with the world but as he spends more and more time with ScarJo he finds new joie de vivre in things like Karaoke and walking around the hotel and/or Tokyo and lusting after girls half his age. And The Girl with the Pearl Earring finds that she’s way too young to already be stuck in that loveless rut of a marriage that she has with Frank, Jr., so she decides to leave him and stay with Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz in Barcelona. Wait, no, that’s a different movie.

We don’t really know what she decides (SPOILER Alert!) because the movie ends with Venkman and the girl from “Eight Legged Freaks” taking a walk in downtown Tokyo and she whispers something into his ear. What does she say? NO ONE KNOWS! (Maybe Scarlett knows?) I guess it was LOST IN TRANSLATION, you guys!

Ha ha, no, that doesn’t even make sense.

5 thoughts on “Lost in Memory

  1. This, again, is so good! You could start a whole new website with this sort of thing, kinda like The Editing Room. Awesome. Is there any way you could make money with this? I want more!

  2. Disagree on many points here. Ribisi’s character isn’t really an asshole but rather an insensitive over-worked fool who got lucky, both job and girl-wise. Also, I don’t think Bob ever hits on Charlotte. Their relationship is much more complex and beyond just physical attraction. Bob also never lusts for women half his age, nor does he ever make any attempt to “get some”. The singer hits on him and he’s drunk. He immediately regrets everything because he didn’t want any of that in the first place. His wife is really a pain in the ass but, of course, he loves her nonetheless, seen by his constant attempts to make things work at home from overseas. Also, it is Murray who whispers in Charlotte’s ear. It is never revealed (there are some clips on youtube which offer a fitting solution) but I think it’s much more than “divorce, find me and then have sex” or whathaveyou. I don’t know if this is an attempt to be funny or if it’s really your opinion of the movie. I’ve seen it at least 20 times and it gets better with every viewing and if your review is serious, then I’d be very sad.

    • I’m afraid you misread the whole thing. This is not a review. It’s a remembrance. You can’t really disagree with what I remember from a film I’ve seen once (maybe twice) 8 years ago. Doesn’t surprise me that I got some things wrong. (Forgot all about Murray’s character being married, too, for example.)

      Also, this is no judgement of the film. I remember liking it back then, but it’s really been too long since I’ve seen it.

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