Foodie Movie Friday: The Ramen Girl

Okay, it's not a book, as we normally do "Foodie Book Friday." However, when we saw the charming film The Ramen Girl, we knew we had to let our fellow foodies know about it. Thus, "Foodie Movie Friday."

Abby, played by Brittany Murphy, is four years out of college ("Phi Beta Kappa" she'll have you know) but she has nothing to show for it. She has followed her boyfriend to Tokyo, and when she arrives, he decides he never wanted her to come, and leaves her (at least he gives her the keys to his apartment!). Feeling abandoned, out on the terrace with a beer in hand, she catches sight of a ramen shop. Her first visit is cathartic - the ramen is the cure - and she decides it is her life's goal to learn to cook it.

She begs the ramen chef, a crotchety Japanese man named Maezumi, to be her sensei (teacher). He agrees, but in the style of Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid, she must earn her way up through the kitchen by starting with the "grunt work." It is the scenes between student and teacher that are the most authentic, and the most touching. He speaks little English, she, little Japanese, and there are subtitles to help the viewer. But the ramen is their shared language, and what makes this a great movie for foodies. That, and it gives ramen its rightful place in the world of noodles.
Best of all, it reminds you that spirit is one of the most important ingredients in any dish.

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