April Fish

April Fish ★★★★

thematically out of character for Obayashi, this film industry farce feels more like an Oscar Wilde play than even the director's most lighthearted romances, and the closest thing it has to a genre element is . not that that's a problem, really. the film is very funny, concerning the efforts of a Francophile filmmaker in a creative rut to fool a Polynesian chief into sleeping with a free-spirited actress playing the filmmaker's movie star wife, in order to fulfill an apparent social obligation which began when the chief offered the filmmaker a night with his own wife years earlier. it's a surprisingly knotty premise, based in misunderstandings and nonsensical social mores. you could view it as Obayashi's tribute to Billy Wilder (who is referenced several times throughout) or more generally to a style of comedy-of-errors filmmaking with which Obayashi never otherwise engaged. it's far from his best film (the racial elements in particular are more than a little weird) but it's an entertaining little romp throughout.

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