ASIAN FILM - Review
16:00 - 20th July 2014, by Calum Waddell

Seven Nights in Japan

Made in 1976, when Japan was still something of an exotic mystery to most western viewers, this obscure Lewis Gilbert directed romantic drama is whimsical but occasionally intriguing. The ever suave Michael York plays a British Prince who arrives on Japanese soil and begins to wander around the Tokyo streets by himself - eventually coming across a beautiful local lady who offers English-language bus tours (played by Hidemi Aoki, who drifted off into obscurity). The two embark on a whirlwind relationship and also tour the country together - whilst a group of offended local assassins try and kill the hero. Hardly surprising, then, that director Gilbert was a regular of the James Bond movies, helming such mega-hits as You Only Live Twice and The Spy Who Loved Me. Unfortunately, this espionage subplot is about as welcome as a hangover from too much Asahi beer - and only distracts from the story at hand (itself adapted from the Audrey Hepburn classic Roman Holiday). Despite the luxurious trappings, and some surprisingly racy PG-rated sex scenes, Seven Nights in Japan never quite hits its stride and the feel-bad ending is more like 'Land of the Rising Glum' than Land of the Rising Sun. Still, as an early date flick, this has an effortless allure that is lacking from your average Jennifer Aniston movie. Moreover, the whole shebang is so stylish that it is hard to not be seduced by the sheer glitzy excess of the Tokyo streets - nevermind the frustratingly beautiful lead performers.

A painless and brainless hour and a half of Tokyo travelogue and love at first sight - Seven Nights in Japan is an oldie but goodie.
SCORE: 3/5
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