"Tampopo" Goes Hollywood: Brittany Murphy as "The Ramen Girl"


According to Serious Eats, Juzo Itami's brilliant 1985 cult comedy "Tampopo" is being reimagined  as a new film starring Brittany Murphy as a young American woman in Japan who gets dumped by her boyfriend, only to get her groove back behind the counter of a noodle shop. As Serious Eats notes, it "looks like 'Tampopo' meets 'Lost in Translation.'"

If you've never seen the original Tampopo -- a "noodle Western" interspersed with a series of satirical vignettes about food culture -- this might sound like a bizzarro "Saturday Night Live" skit (or just a bad dream). But, it's apparently for real, as this trailer for the film will attest:

Media8entertainment provides a synopsis of the forthcoming "The Ramen Girl":

"Abruptly abandoned by her boyfriend, a young American woman (Murphy) finds herself suddenly alone and adrift in Tokyo. Lost in the shuffle of a foreign culture, and seeking to console herself, Abby winds up hanging out in her neighborhood ramen shop. After observing the magical effects of the shop's ramen on the customers, Abby convinces herself that her true path in life is to become a ramen chef. Abby persuades the shop's tyrannical, temperamental Japanese master chef to teach her the art of making ramen. And although their relationship is contentious and rocky, they both discover the most important ingredient of all - that each ramen bowl must contain a universe of feeling and truly be a gift from the heart."

For a taste of the original, here's a memorable clip where the noodle master instructs the proper way to consume (and appreciate) the perfect bowl of ramen:



Just a note that Tampopo is available for purchase as a DVD, but it is one of a very few such films that Netflix does not rent!


Tampopo is one of my favorite films (I own a copy and it sits on my kitchen shelf). I can't imagine it being ANY better than the original, but I will definitely have to see "Ramen Girl". Thanks for the heads up!


Why don't they just leave the original perfection alone. It's so sad the way that Hollywood is bankrupt of its own ideas...


Wait wait wait...please tell me this is a joke. It's a joke, right? I mean come on...Tampopo is an amazing movie that does not need to be tainted by a horrible American remake or something...


Not only is it stupid to remake a film like this -- it'll be even worse than the remake of "Shall We Dance?" -- but the article writer doesn't even seem to understand the film either. Didn't he or she notice that "the noodle master" character is a fiction, from a silly book read by the cowboy's sidekick, which starts the whole ball rolling because both he and the cowboy think the book is stupid? Let's just hope that Hollywood reviewers actually see the original before they make comparisons.


I can't believe they are doing a remake with Brittany Murphy. That doesn't sound right. I love the original Tampopo and always apologize to my pork after moving it aside :) I have very low expectations for the new version - but I'll probably see it anyway. Thanks for the tip Josh!


Generally, I, too, have been let down by American re-makes of great flicks (witness "No Reservations" up against the original "Mostly Martha", as well as "Shall we Dance?" mentioned by Thom), so I'm not likely to watch this.

The ONLY smidgeon of hope I hold is the potential that this new movie will be as good to "Tampopo" as "Tortilla Soup" was to "Eat Drink Man Woman" - the Sunday meals were the STARS of that remake! Actually, I thought of "Tortilla Soup" as the emotional inside-out version of the original - nobody held back anywhere.


FU*K YOU. What a waste of a great movie


How sad. It's like the "Karate Kid" meets "Tampopo" without the best of either. It's like "Lost in Translation" only in the respect that both involve confused blondes in Japan.


Hopefully it won't be the like the pitiful remake of Mostly Martha, I'll forget the name for now with Catherine Zeta Jones..

Funny - I've been showing that Tampopo clip above in my cooking classes for the past two years at www.tastedc.com events...somebody is paying attention!


Thanks for this great post. How did I not know about this remake???

I actually just blogged on this movie and other food-related media in December, should you be interested.

I agree with other comments about Brittany Murphy. Oh well, that's Hollywood for ya.

Hopefully the remake will shine a light on the original. It is amazing to me how many people have never heard of Tampopo. It is my all-time favorite film.


~ Paula
(of Ambrosia Quest)


proof that we truly live in end days. this is f-ing ridiculous! gaaaaa


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