Friday, September 21, 2007

Dude Where's My Concubine?

It just wouldn't be right to let two years pass without another "Dude Where's My Geisha/Concubine/Hot Asian Girlfriend" film. This time they're calling it Silk.

Based on the Alessandro Baricco's novel this is the story of a married silkworm smuggler, Herve Joncour, in 19th Century France who travels to Japan to collect his clandestine cargo. While there he spots a beautiful Japanese woman, the concubine of a local baron, with whom he becomes obsessed. Without speaking the same language, they communicate through letters until war intervenes. Their unrequited love persists however, and Herve's wife Helene begins to suspect. (

The confusing grammar notwithstanding ("...the concubine of a local baron, with whom he becomes obsessed." - the concubine or the baron??), I can't help but grimace at the thought of another one of these movies hitting theaters.
But it gets better.

When war breaks out in Japan, Hervé must leave for France, warned never to return to Japan. At home, after hearing nothing from the mysterious concubine, he at last receives a letter from her, written in Japanese. Hervé takes the letter to a French-Japanese brothel owner, Mme Blanche (known for giving the small blue flowers that she wears to her clients), who translates the letter into French.

The story ends when Hélène dies and Hervé finds a tribute of small, blue flowers on her grave. He realizes that the letter was not from the Japanese concubine, but from his wife all along. Hélène had Mme Blanche translate the letter for her, knowing that her husband was in love with a Japanese woman, and wanting him to be happy. Mme Blanche tells Hervé that, more than anything, his wife loved him, and Hervé is left wondering if, whilst she lived, he ever truly appreciated her.

So not only is the dude a rice-chaser, he also has a super-passive wife who lets him cheat on her, and she's such a pushover that she doesn't say anything until after she's dead, in a note written in a language she had to learn for the express purpose of such pushover-the-top satisfaction of her husband's extramarital obsession. That is some hard core passive-agression.
("Of COURSE I don't mind if you would rather screw your little Asian girlfriend, than a plain ole me. I'M GOING TO DIE ANYWAY.")

And the poster for the film is misleading.

Judging from the poster, I'd guess the movie is about an oriental sexual healer who is helping the two "Out of Africa" Brits find a way to spice up their boring love lives. The healer 's first piece of advice is to get silk sheets, and Silk brand lubricant. It's written in French here because Japanese people can't pronounce the word "silk" without making Americans laugh.


ryan said...

This is a minor complaint, in comparison to the FITT-inducing plot formula, but IMDB lists the baron's concubine role as:
Sei Ashina ... The Girl

THE GIRL. That's all homeslice gets on the cast list. dang, dude

gr said...

It doesn't stop there. An outsourcing-dude-meets-Indian-lady movie is about to drop, too!


Ed Sizemore said...

"French-Japanese brothel owner" Wait, what? This summary reads more like a Frenchman's wet dream than a movie plot. The only thing missing is the scene where the all-supportive wife tells hubby that it's okay to think about the Japanese concubine while making love to her. Oh, and the scene where the wife takes money from her private savings and gives it to hubby so he can have a night at the friend's brothel.

Anne, things are good with me. Congrats on being your own boss. I had a friend who worked as a freelance writer for a few years before getting his MBA. So I know being freelance is a lot of hard work. I'm impressed with anyone who chooses that career path. (The hardest work my friend had, was convincing his mother he actually had a 'real job'. She refused to believe that anyone who was home all day was working.)

ill iterate said...

hahahaha i'm going to make that my new job title.

i'm sure there is a superimposed concubine face montage during a sex scene with his wife.

what movie are you talking about?