Movie Recommendation- White on Rice

WHITE ON RICE (2009)Director Dave Boyle’s low-key, low-budget comedy is the kind of feel-good movie even the most cynical moviegoer can feel good feeling good about.  Coming-of-age tales are a staple of independent cinema, but the genre is too often used as an easy go-to by filmmakers with more ambition than ideas.  Rice may wear its heart on its sleeve, but it’s a film that earns its earnestness, with thoughtful characters and an unhurried, episodic plot as cozy and inviting as a warm sleeping bag.  It helps that the protagonist of this coming-of-age tale isn’t a boy, but rather a naïve, childlike Japanese man finally learning—a little late in life, perhaps—how to be an adult.  With crisp direction and acting best described as “amiable in the extreme,” Boyle’s film fits nicely in the niche between Little Miss Sunshine and Napoleon Dynamite: less calculated than the former, but minus the overbearing quirk of the latter.  Rice’s 82 minutes may be over before you know it, but the smile it puts on your face will last much, much longer.

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