I just watched a pretty hilarious indie movie called Big Dreams Little Tokyo, directed by David Boyle. It’s about this white guy, Boyd (played by Boyle) who is obsessed with Japanese culture. Like, really obsessed. He has a sign outside his apartment door that says: “Japanese only” and all the furniture in it is labeled in hiragana. He traipses around town handing out business cards the proper Japanese way, telling people &mdash only Japanese or Japanese-looking people &mdash that he is a businessman. His roommate is a Japanese-American wannabe sumo wrestler Jerome (played by Jayson Watabe, who went to my high school) who sits in a fundoshi and eats all day.
Boyd’s having no luck selling his silly language book and lessons, but things start to turn around when Jerome overeats at a local sushi restaurant and the duo take on two new friends &mdash the Mexican-American sushi chef and a pretty Japanese nurse at the hospital.
Boyle made this movie with pretty much no directing experience, and Watabe is his best friend, not necessarily an actor. But I feel like that almost worked to their advantage. The result is a very natural, slightly Rushmore-esque film that resonates with anyone who lives in between two cultures, whether it’s real or just in their minds.