The Ramen Girl (2008) Poster

The Ramen Girl (2008)

  • Rate: 6.1/10 total 2,836 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 23 October 2008 (Russia)
  • Runtime: 102 min | Germany:122 min (European Film Market)
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The Ramen Girl (2008)


The Ramen Girl 2008tt0806165.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Ramen Girl (2008)
  • Rate: 6.1/10 total 2,836 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 23 October 2008 (Russia)
  • Runtime: 102 min | Germany:122 min (European Film Market)
  • Filming Location: Jacksonville, Florida, USA
  • Director: Robert Allan Ackerman
  • Stars: Brittany Murphy, Toshiyuki Nishida and Tammy Blanchard
  • Original Music By: Carlo Siliotto   
  • Soundtrack: Tropicando (Remix)
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Chef | Japanese | Master | Stranded | Ramen

Writing Credits By:

  • Becca Topol (screenplay)

Known Trivia

    Plot: An American woman is stranded in Tokyo after breaking up with her boyfriend. Searching for direction in life, she trains to be a râmen chef under a tyrannical Japanese master. Full summary » |  »

    Story: Abby, four years out of college, an aimless child of privilege, comes to Tokyo to be with her boyfriend, who promptly leaves for Osaka. She wants to stay in Tokyo in hopes he'll come back to her, but she's miserable: she speaks little Japanese and has a dull job as a law-firm gopher. She stumbles into the neighborhood ramen shop operated by the aging master chef Maezumi and his wife Reiko. His soup cheers Abby, so she decides to apprentice herself to him. He's uninterested, she's insistent, so he shouts at her and gives her all the cleaning to do. Weeks go by; she's persistent. Will he ever actually teach her to cook? And if he does, will she bring the requisite spirit to the job?Written by <>  

    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Robert Allan Ackerman known as producer
    • Randy Dannenberg known as co-producer
    • Michael Eliasberg known as executive producer
    • Philip Hall known as co-producer
    • Stewart Hall known as producer
    • Kimio Kataoka known as producer
    • Cleve Landsberg known as executive producer
    • Brittany Murphy known as producer
    • Yôko Narahashi known as producer (as Yoko Narahashi)
    • Masafumi Odawara known as executive producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Brittany Murphy known as Abby
    • Toshiyuki Nishida known as Maezumi
    • Sohee Park known as Toshi Iwamoto
    • Kimiko Yo known as Reiko
    • Daniel Evans known as Charlie
    • Renji Ishibashi known as Udagawa
    • Gabriel Mann known as Ethan
    • Tammy Blanchard known as Gretchan
    • Daigo Tanji known as Taxi Driver
    • Thane Camus known as Wilson
    • Hako Ueno known as Hanako
    • Masayuki Maekawa known as Vendor
    • Yûya Ogawa known as College Student (as Yuya Ogawa)
    • Tomoyuki Kuramoto known as College Student
    • Yuta known as Young Man at the Shrine
    • NaNa known as Young Woman at the Shrine
    • Shinji Suzuki known as Goth Boy at the Shrine
    • Kosei Asami known as Young Boy
    • Ken Toyama known as Suzuki
    • Jûdai Ikeshita known as Depressed Businessman
    • Sachiko Matsuura known as Secretary
    • Tomiko Ishii known as Megumi
    • Rei Okamoto known as Midori
    • Nichita Tanabe known as Harumi's Colleague (as Nitta Tanabe)
    • Ken Maeda known as Harumi
    • Takaki Uda known as Akira
    • Takahiro Hirano known as Kuma
    • Takanobu Kaneko known as Udagawa's Son
    • Yutaka Oda known as Kendo Master
    • Sonha Chô known as Ueno
    • Man Kato known as Manager
    • Kazuya Takahashi known as Male Singer
    • Takako Ogasawara known as Elf #1
    • Mai Ishikawa known as Elf #2
    • Kaori Momoi known as Mamasan (scenes deleted)
    • Akiko Monô known as Mio
    • Masayoshi Haneda known as Yuki (as Masayoshi Hanada)
    • Masayoshi Nogami known as Merchant 1
    • Hideki Kurauchi known as Merchant 2
    • Shû Nakajima known as Merchant 3 (as Shu Nakajima)
    • Ruru Furuya known as Twin Babies – Emiko (as Ruru, Mimi Furuya)
    • Mimi Furuya known as Twin Babies – Aiko (as Ruru, Mimi Furuya)
    • Naoki Saitô known as Kenichi (scenes deleted) (as Naoki Saito)
    • Hisako Ohkata known as Maezumi's Mother
    • Tsutomu Yamazaki known as Grand Master
    • Haruki Kobayashi known as Jin
    • Tiffany Martin known as NY Young Female Cook
    • Sonya Inge known as NY Waitress
    • Justin Berti known as NY Waiter
    • Jorge Diaz Rodriguez known as Latino Customer
    • Dona Granata known as Female Customer
    • Maria Abe known as Asami
    • Qyoko Kudo known as Mother in Metro (as Ben)
    • Brittney Murphy known as Abby
    • Michael Naishtut known as N.Y. customer
    • Edward L. Papazian known as N.Y. customer
    • Daisuke Takahashi known as Tom
    • Hajime Inoue known as Tak (uncredited)
    • Shôichirô Masumoto known as (uncredited)
    • Kazumi Nakamura known as (voice) (uncredited)



    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Maya Hardinge known as personal makeup artist
    • Robert Ramos known as hair stylist: Brittany Murphy




    Production Companies:

    • Media 8 Entertainment (presents)
    • Digital Site Corporation (in association with)

    Other Companies:

    • Bueryn Insurance Services  insurance services
    • Dolby Laboratories  sound post-production
    • Film Finances  completion guarantor
    • Monkeyland Audio  post-production sound services
    • Monkeyland Audio  sound re-recording
    • Sud Ovest Records  music production
    • Toei Labo Tech  post-production facilities
    • United Performers' Studio  extras casting


    • Warner Bros. (2009) (Japan) (theatrical)
    • Warner Home Video (2009) (Japan) (DVD)
    • European Film Partners (EFP) (2009) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
    • Megabox (2008) (South Korea) (theatrical)
    • Shaw Organisation (2009) (Singapore) (theatrical)
    • Concorde Home Entertainment (2011) (Germany) (DVD)
    • Image Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)
    • Luxor Entertainment (2008) (Russia) (all media)
    • Momentum Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (UK) (DVD)
    • VVS Films (2009) (Canada) (DVD)
    • VVS Films (2009) (Canada) (all media)



    Other Stuff

    Special Effects:

    • NTT Media Lab (visual effects)

    Visual Effects by:

    • Masato Aonuma known as cg artist: NTT Media Lab
    • Kôji Misada known as digital compositor: NTT Media Lab
    • Hiroki Mori known as lead digital compositor: NTT Media Lab
    • Dai Sato known as cg artist: NTT Media Lab
    • Takeshi Shin known as visual effects supervisor: NTT Media Lab
    • Yuki Sugimoto known as matchmove artist: NTT Media Lab (uncredited)

    Release Date:

    • Germany 8 February 2008 (European Film Market)
    • Italy May 2008 (Milano Film Festival)
    • Russia 23 October 2008
    • Japan 17 January 2009 (Tokyo)
    • Netherlands 29 January 2009
    • Singapore 7 May 2009
    • USA 26 May 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • UK 10 August 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • Brazil 15 June 2010 (DVD premiere)
    • Hungary 4 September 2010 (TV premiere)

    MPAA: Rated PG-13 for some sexual content



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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    Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


    1. megafan-1 from Vancouver, Canada
      30 Mar 2012, 7:10 pm

      I gave this movie a fair 7/10. I would ignore the nonsensical 1/10 and10/10 ratings and give it a fair shake if you're into Japanese food andculture. I was pretty surprised at how they portrayed Japaneseculture…not totally accurate, but not a travesty either. I alsowouldn't consider this to be a remake of Tampopo — totally differentcharacters and story lines. But it was fun seeing the main cowboyhat-wearing guy from Tampopo doing a small role as the ramen grandmaster. His expressions and eating reactions were hilarious! Thefilmmakers obviously have a love of japan and its culture, and I canfeel their sincerity in sharing this joy through this movie. This movieisn't perfect by a longshot (the whole subplot with the British guy andthe southern girl was useless and irritating), but there were somegenuinely fun and funny moments. Keep your expectations in check andjust enjoy the movie for what it is.

    2. lhhung_himself from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 7:10 pm

      I think a large part of the negative reaction comes from expectationsabout what the film is or should be.

      First of all, this is not a remake of Tampopo, nor is it about food. Itactually borrows more from "Like Water for Chocolate" than Tampopo, butthe food subplot is an afterthought and a bit of a distraction.

      It isn't really a rom-com though there is a romantic interest in there.Nor is it really a East meets West type of thing either though thatcertainly is an element.

      It is a story about a young girl, who like many young people havewandered aimlessly expecting that life will just happen for them. TheJapanese expectation that a big company will take care of them for lifeis not that much different from the American expectations. Our ramengirl discovers that such a lack of passion and spirit, even when theingredients are there and all the right steps are followed will lead toa bland soup. A simple metaphor but done fairly well.

      Brittany Murphy is surprisingly good as the ramen girl and herinteractions with the gruff ramen-nazi (wonderfully played by ToshiyukiNishida) are hilarious. The development of the relationship between thetwo of them was very well done.

      I quite enjoyed this film and recommend it as a light pleasantdiversion that brings a smile to your face – like a good bowl of ramenshould…

    3. tabuno from utah
      30 Mar 2012, 7:10 pm

      Shot on location this drama is unique in that it attempts to portray aspoiled (rich) girl literally abandoned in Tokyo Japan and whose solaceis found in learning to cook Ramen noodles from a grumpy and difficultRamen cook. What makes this movie special is its heavy use of actualJapanese dialogue with subtitles and Brittany Murphy's character'sactual very limited Japanese. What happens on screen is a rarely seenstoryline where the main characters are relatively clueless as to whatthe other person is talking about. Somewhat like ENEMY MINE (1985), asci fi movie where the protagonist and antagonist are aliens to eachother, Brittany's character and her sensei (teacher) must bumblethrough somehow. There is also suggestive similarities to SIMPLYIrresistible (1999) where Sarah Michelle Gellar cooks up emotionaldishes but without the literal magic in that movie. Unfortunately a fewediting problems and storyline line flow are disrupted by the sometimeslater collapse or confusion as to the English/Japanese language barrier(where there are a few scenes where it's confusing as to how muchJapanese and English the characters understand, and also someunderdeveloped backstories and follow-through on their emotionallysatisfying resolution (the sensei's son for example). While played as adrama, it is somewhat light on the drama which in some ways misses theopportunity to play it even more straight and serious which may haveenabled this movie to become an actual serious contender for an award.The ending also didn't seem to quite gel in some ways as the abruptnature of the changes in Brittany's character's life seem somewhatsudden and inconsistent with how the movie seemed to be flowing.

    4. matthew willey from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 7:10 pm

      A young woman Abby (Brittany Murphy) travels to Tokyo to see herboyfriend and he promptly breaks up with her and she gets a job worksin a Tokyo noodle restaurant, where she finds out it is an art form tocreate one of Japan's favorite dishes. She trains under Japanese masterMaezumi (Toshiyuki Nishida) who tests her and teaches her lessons inlife and cooking. This is a fun little film and I wasn't expecting tolike it so much. There is a lot about Japanese culture and traditionsthat most Americans like me don't understand , when I think of noodlesI think of cheap dried noodles as a food of last resort. There are tothis film credit sub titles for the Japanese; I think that if they hadof put actor speaking in English it would have been very unauthentic.So there is some very interesting scenes of Tokyo that you don't see inmost films, a kind of realistic view of Japanese life. It's nice towatch an Asian film with no martial arts, or weird horror plot, this ismore of a romantic comedy and some drama. It's a feel good movie andwas suggested to me by a friend as a movie to watch and review, she wasright .

    5. pllc15 from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 7:10 pm

      This was my first view of Britany Murphy in a movie, "The Ramen Girl".I was impressed with her acting and presence on screen. With all thenew Hollywood stars coming out of the woodwork these days, you begin tolose track about who's good and who's not so good. This movie hasdefinitely etched a niche for her as a capable actor and hope shemanages her career accordingly with her remarkable talent.

      The movie in many ways is a throw-back to a silent movie where dialogis not really the centerpiece to the story. The subtitles thoughhelpful were not needed as the audience would have gotten the gist justby viewing the actors' facial expressions intertwined with their bodylanguage.

      This movie must have been successful in Japan and Asia as itimportantly catered to the emotional side of things and the nuancesassociated with human relationships in order to successfully carry thestory rather the plot itself. We are usually accustomed to movies witha continuity heading toward a final conclusion that makes sense to allof us. The viewers, who feel this way about a movie, will bedisappointed because "The Ramen Girl" falls short of this requirement.I liked the movie because it successfully joined two cultures in anattempt to show that the traumas and jubilations arising out of love,pride, loneliness, self-worth, honor and feelings we share andexperience with people are commonly the same universal denominators weall share in culturally different ways in Tokyo or NYC or the world forthat matter. The writer was right on the mark on this one. The moviedoes have its funny moments to keep it interesting. All around, I giveit an 8.

    6. farmerdave74 from East Central Minnesota
      30 Mar 2012, 7:10 pm

      As one who has lived in Japan and has eaten REAL Ramen, I enjoyed thismovie just from that perspective. However, I was touched on otherlevels as well.

      There is a depth to this movie that sadly many viewers simply will notbe able to comprehend. This is a movie that goes beyond thetechnicality or "head thinking" aspect of a craft and addresses theheart or "spirit" of doing something.

      This is clearly a movie about redemption. It is a movie aboutrelationships. And, it is a movie about cross-cultural understandingand communication.

      Ramen Girl touched my heart, and I hope it will touch yours as well.

    7. jplank1475 from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 7:10 pm

      I knew nothing about this movie before watching it but within minutes Iwas hooked.

      Brittany Murphy tugged at my heart's strings as she portrayed a girlwho is left alone in Tokyo trying to find a purpose or reason to go on.

      This movie does very well even though the Ramen Girl (Abby) doesn'tunderstand what anyone is saying at first. You quickly pull for her tosucceed in the battle of translation.

      The Culture clash is entertaining and hilarious at times. The onlydownside I have (Don't worry, this isn't a spoiler) is just that Iwished the ending would have been slightly different. Either way, I'mglad to have this pleasant surprise in movie collection.

      If you have always wanted to visit Japan, or have any interest inJapanese culture, this will certainly tickle your fancy.

      Hope you enjoy.

    8. Ziv Sahar from Israel
      30 Mar 2012, 7:10 pm

      I don't usually watch these kind of movies.. too much drama andpredicted plot.. But since this one was really focusing on japan I toldmyself I have to go see it.

      The movie itself is great.. it really shows Japan of today! reallyexplains how foreigners do in japan. how they work , live , have fun..and even meet people and fall in love!

      The movie consist on an old man who owns a ramen shop, and Abby(Brittany Murphy)which is fascinated by the effects of ramen on people.Abby struggle with the old man and she wants him to teach her thesecret of ramen. The old man is very stubborn and strict. He treatsAbby has a little spoiled American kid , and give her no discounts. Themovie shows how ramen is being made very nicely and that it has to bemade with soul (Tamashii,魂).

      This is a story about Abby's journey of finding her purpose in life andsoul to pour into the ramen soup. Abby's journey is tough , and throughthe hole movie she's struggling to understand the definition ofTamashii.

      I think this movie is wonderful feed for those who like Japan.especially if you like ramen.

    9. Gordon-11 from Hong Kong
      30 Mar 2012, 7:10 pm

      This film is about an American girl who uses a Ramen shop as her havenafter being dumped by her boyfriend. There, she experiences and learnsmore than she unexpected to.

      "The Ramen Girl" is actually enjoyable to watch. I particularly likethe way that it treats Japanese culture with respect. This can be seenby not Americanising the Japanese characters, using plenty of Japaneselanguage in the film and also using actors who actually speaks fluentJapanese. Hearing a Japanese ramen chef explaining the spirit of ramenis quite inspirational, as one could see so much dedication and respectfor something seemingly insignificant. "The Ramen Girl" is more thanjust a romantic comedy or a "Lost in Translation" rip off. It is a goodway to introduce Japanese culture, values and traditions to othercultures. I enjoyed "The Ramen Girl" a lot, and I hope it reaches awider audience.

    10. TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
      30 Mar 2012, 7:10 pm

      It is pronounced "rah – mun" not "ray-men".

      I must say I am rather surprised to see the low IMDb rating for thismovie. It is much better and more entertaining than many recent rom-comreleases rated higher. While it is a rom-com, it is a subtle one with agood message.

      Brittany Murphy is Abby, in Tokyo with her working boyfriend. She has amenial job she hates, but being there with him makes it worthwhile.Until one day he tells her he is going to Osaka on business, anddoesn't know if he will ever return. We quickly figure out he isn'tcoming back, but it takes Abby a few hundred unreturned messages leftto his answering machine to come to that conclusion.

      One fateful night, in the rain and hungry, she wanders into the localRamen shop, they are closed, but since they don't understand Englishand Abby doesn't understand Japanese, she ends up being comforted witha bowl of Ramen and decides that she wants to learn to be a Ramen chef,apparently something unheard of there. But since she doesn't know that,and no one can tell her, she insinuates herself.

      The old chef is veteran Japanese actor Toshiyuki Nishida as Maezumi.Immediately we see he is a very difficult man, but Abby is persistent.We learn that Maezumi has a son who didn't want to follow his father asa Ramen chef, and instead went off to Paris to study classical cooking.Maezumi was not happy about this, especially as other veteran Ramenchefs, preparing their own sons to succeed them, taunt him.

      There are many small side stories, and the movie is fun, but the maintheme is Abby trying to make her mark as a Ramen chef.

      SPOILERS: Eventually Abby gets the old chef to teach her properly, butshe likes to innovate. When the "master" comes to their neighborhood totaste her Ramen he likes it, but does not approve. However Abby hasfound herself, the movie ends one year later, in New York, with herrunning her own Ramen shop with innovative dishes. And we see a photoof the old chef and his wife with their son in France.

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