Funuke Show Some Love, You Losers! 腑抜けども、悲しみの愛を見せろ (Funuke domo, kanashimi no ai wo misero) [2007] • Japan

This is what Japanese cinema is all about: A good title, twisted family drama, black humor that hurts more than it tickles, a little sexual deviance, beautiful women. Funuke Show Some Love, You Losers! has it all.

The films starts with a gruesome bus accident that kills the parents of siblings Shinji, Sumika, and Kiyomi. Kiyomi, an aspiring manga artist, witnesses it and decides the images would make good material for her next project. Four years ago, in their countryside home, elder sister Sumika (Eriko Sato) carved a checkerboard into her father's forehead because he wouldn't finance her dream of moving to Tokyo to become an actress. She turned to prostitution. Younger sister Kiyomi (Aimi Satsukawa) used her sister's actions as manga material and got it published. Sumika, in shame, left for Tokyo. The two sisters have not gotten along since. The death of the parents comes at a good time for Sumika who hasn't made it as an actress and is deeply in debt. She returns to her country homestead in the hopes of collecting some inheritance but finds out there isn't any. The rest of the story, although intricately woven, is not important here. Suffice to say the three siblings have deep dark secrets and rivalries that come boiling to the surface. It's the performances that make this film so good.

Robo-babe, pin-up girl, horror queen, and Cutie Honey: Live Action star Eriko Sato gives the performance of her career as the relentlessly cruel and self-absorbed Sumika. Sometimes a role is just made for someone, and Sato takes this one and runs with it. Aimi Satsukawa brings wonderful pathos to the asthmatic, innocent yet deeply disturbed, Kiyomi. Veteran actor Masatoshi Nagase is solid and creepy as the brother who's gone where brothers are not supposed to go with sister Sumika. Sato is the star of the film and the whole thing would be unbearably dark and cruel if it weren't for the hilarious and wholesome performance of Hiromi Nagasaku as Shinji's wife, Machiko. Shinji procured Machiko via a marriage agency and Machiko, wanting to escape the demands and false hopes of the city thinks she will settle nicely into the lives of some good ol' down home country folk. Oops. Nagasaku, deservedly, has won multiple awards for her performance. She elevates every film she is in and this one is no exception. She plays the straight man to all the morbid cruelty going on around her. Her Machiko is as much of a failure as everyone else but she hasn't learned to take it out on others. She just wants everyone to get along.

Funuke Show Some Love, You Losers! takes the theme of dysfunctional family drama and wrings it dry. If you like your humor dark and cruel, punctuated with double-takes that are sweet, wholesome, and absurd, you'll love this movie.

Director: Daihachi Yoshida
Starring: Eriko Sato, Aimi Satsukawa, Hiromi Nagasaku, Masatoshi Nagase, Seiji Nozoe

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