The Ramen Girl

October 23rd, 2008


The Ramen Girl

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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.

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 6.1/10 (2,751 voted)

Director: Robert Allan Ackerman

Stars: Brittany Murphy, Toshiyuki Nishida, Tammy Blanchard

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?

Brittany Murphy - Abby
Toshiyuki Nishida - Maezumi
Sohee Park - Toshi Iwamoto
Kimiko Yo - Reiko
Daniel Evans - Charlie
Renji Ishibashi - Udagawa
Gabriel Mann - Ethan
Tammy Blanchard - Gretchan
Daigo Tanji - Taxi Driver
Thane Camus - Wilson
Hako Ueno - Hanako
Masayuki Maekawa - Vendor
Yûya Ogawa - College Student (as Yuya Ogawa)
Tomoyuki Kuramoto - College Student
Yuta - Young Man at the Shrine

Taglines: Her romance is on pins and noodles.


Official Website: Official site [Japan] |

Release Date: 23 October 2008

Filming Locations: Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Germany: (European Film Market)

Abby: I don't know anything about love. Every time I feel it, it's gone, it disappears and all I have left is pain and sadness.

User Review

ignore the user votes, this movie was actually fun to watch

Rating: 7/10

I gave this movie a fair 7/10. I would ignore the nonsensical 1/10 and 10/10 ratings and give it a fair shake if you're into Japanese food and culture. I was pretty surprised at how they portrayed Japanese culture...not totally accurate, but not a travesty either. I also wouldn't consider this to be a remake of Tampopo -- totally different characters and story lines. But it was fun seeing the main cowboy hat-wearing guy from Tampopo doing a small role as the ramen grand master. His expressions and eating reactions were hilarious! The filmmakers obviously have a love of japan and its culture, and I can feel their sincerity in sharing this joy through this movie. This movie isn't perfect by a longshot (the whole subplot with the British guy and the southern girl was useless and irritating), but there were some genuinely fun and funny moments. Keep your expectations in check and just enjoy the movie for what it is.


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