Tora-san, His Tender Love (1970)


Tora-san, His Tender Love Storyline

In an effort to get him to settle down, Tora’s family attempts to arrange a marriage for him. Unfortunately, Tora’s goodwill backfires once again, and he leaves for a remote hot springs resort where he becomes a handyman and falls for the lovely general manager, Oshizu.

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Tora-san, His Tender Love Movie Reviews

This third installment is perhaps even better than the first two…

Tora-san was a character in something like 1034380 movies (or so it seemed)–stretching over several decades. Unfortunately, only the first four seem to be available here in the States–hopefully they’ll soon get around to releasing some more, as they are nice good-natured family films. The star is an odd character. In some ways, he’s pretty sweet and even kind–but all too often, he’s obnoxious, overbearing and a lot of trouble!! Using a nice balance of comedy and pathos, the films I’ve seen so far have been very good–and perhaps this third one is the best I’ve seen yet.

In this installment, the film begins much like the second one–his family in Tokyo hasn’t seen this wandering lout for some time and wonder how he’s doing. But, like a case of the common cold, eventually he’ll appear unexpectedly. When he does show, his friends and family are happy, as they think they might have found a good prospect for marriage. I loved the scene where Tora-san said he’d like to marry and has no requirements for a wife…other than she be pleasant. Then, slowly, he lists a few other requirements–and they get pretty funny. When he actually does meet the woman, this takes a very unexpected turn–and in the end, his Aunt and Uncle get stuck with a huge wedding bill—and Tora-san doesn’t even end up being the one who gets married! Because of this huge screw up by Tora-san, his family is naturally enraged–but it doesn’t last long. This pattern I call the “Curious George” pattern–and in all the films I’ve seen his family has LOTS of reasons to disown him but eventually all is forgiven and they forget that he always seems to bring trouble. Now realizing he’s overstayed his welcome, he disappears.

A month later, the Aunt and Uncle go on a very short vacation to a spa. And, not surprisingly, they meet Tora-san there and he ruins their getaway. However, after they leave, the film becomes a nice tale about Tora-san and his impact on the owner and workers at an old and obviously second-rate inn. For once, Tora-san does NOT screw everything up and is pretty commendable…and he hopes that the lady who owns the inn will become his wife. But, as I said, the films also have some pathos and it seems that at least so far in the series, he will constantly be unlucky in love. And, because of this, you almost feel sorry for him…though he is a ‘baka’ (‘idiot) according to most in the film! Why did I like this one a bit more than the other two? Well, because most families would have paid a hit-man to kill him in the first two films–he was that troublesome and annoying. Here, however, I think they achieved a better balance–making him not quite as annoying or worthless. In turn, he was more endearing and likable–even if he wasn’t quite as funny. A very worthy addition to the series. b e