The Family Game (1983)

Yûsaku Matsuda, Jûzô Itami, Saori Yuki, Ichirôta Miyakawa,
Japanese parents hire a tutor for their foolish son and get a critic of their lifestyle.
  • 7.1 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Yôhei Honma, Writer:
  • Yoshimitsu Morita, Director:
  • Yutaka Okada, Shiro Sasaki, Producer:
10 / 10

Interesting! Playful! One of my TOP 5 Japanese Movies!

This little film deals with, basically, a young, male Japanese teen who has seemed to just quit attempting to do well in school for one reason or another. I know what your thinking, "That's it." This movie actually deals with the relationship the young teen and his "tutor" have. Now, if you do not know anything about the Japanese society, I would suggest reading up on it a bit, especially dealing with the school system. But for those of you who do not have the time, it basically comes down to this . . . .males MUST do well in junior high, in order to get into a good high school, which in turn is the hardest type of schooling on the face of the earth. If they are lucky to finish and not collapse under the pressure, they eventually go on to college which is the easiest stretch of time they will ever encounter. But this is not all, there a lot of suttle points to admire here, but there are just too many to mention. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a light, but witty comedy. Also watch, "Tampopo", "A Taxing Woman", "Minbo no onna", "Hana-bi", "Kids Return", and "Adrenaline Drive." You will not be disappointed!

7 / 10

full of ideas, and very dreamlike... slapping you out of nowhere now and then.

It was fun to watch the creativity put in this movie, and the tensions between the characters build up. The tutor, as imprevisible as the weather, is a major source of fun--especially in the typically anally retentive Japanese family context. I really liked how they craftily managed to plant a pretty obscene line in an argument over breakfast--it's a pun, so ask your neighborhood translator to watch the argument scene with you. The provision of laughter is disconcertingly random, so you either like it or not. I gave this a seven.

5 / 10

A rather slap-stick portrayal of an important story.

A middle-class Japanese teenager won't study to pass exams to get into high school so a tutor is hired. The tutor, who is basically a slob, gets the done. The family lives in a high-rise apartment across the Sumida River from Tokyo and it is interesting to see what family life is like in that set-up. The teenager's mother tries valiantly to see her children succeed in a rather chaotic situation.

The Japanese education system is a rat-race to pass exams. It deserves a better story than this one.