I figured it's about time for a film review of a nice sappy-wappy romantic Japanese film. Nawwwww.Nawwww....naw.
'We were there/ 僕等がいた' part two came out in the cinemas last year and seems to have been quite popular (at least when I went to the international students dorm at Kanazawa university for a party, everyone was watching it...).So I figured I'd watch both part one and two in the same week. It's such a typically Japanese romance, with the couple getting together in high school, moving apart from each other and then failing at long distance relationship-ing through a number of ridiculously difficult circumstances that tear them apart outside of their own control.
I have a feeling that in American films there is a theme of couples being able to stay together even in extreme circumstance due to them putting in a crazy amount of effort to get back together (love is like a superpower!), I'm thinking like in 'Cold Mountain' and to a lesser extent '10 things I hate about you' where the guy has to overcome different obstacles (in Cold mountain he has to walk till he's pretty much dead and in 10 things I guess he has to overcome social stigma) to prove his love. In Japanese films though it's more likely that the guy (or sometimes the girl) will have something horrible happen which tears them apart and the girl (or sometimes the guy) will wait for ages until fate manages to bring them together. I guess what I assume the difference is, is that it actually seems more romantic to have the leads not 'try' to get back together but because of fate they eventually do. I'm thinking Hanamizuki, Koizora, Heavenly forest and yes also 'we were there'. That's just my interpretation though, I'm sure there are Japanese romance films that aren't like that and American ones that don't fit that category either.
I watched the two films (part one and two) with my friend who lives in my dorm who is from China and she said that in China as well as Japan there is the idea that men and women who are meant to be together are tied together with an invisible red string so that even without trying they are bound to end up together.
Anyway although this film is more for escapism and entertainment than for teaching us good lessons about life (apart from don't go out with someone you don't like and don't leave your cancer stricken crazy mother alone in the house), I found the two lead characters to be a lot more charming than usual. Takashi, the female lead was so cheerful and strong and Yanou was so... good looking. And he said silly stuff like 'your my compass' and other lovey dovey things that are only said in films.