Train Man: Densha Okoto

The subtitle for this odd little Japanese film is "A love story for the Geek in all of us." I'm sure you will agree.

After much debate, I decided to send out this review to you fans of foreign films because I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet little romance, even though some scenes are waaay over the top. Japanese films tend to get over-emotional at times and this one certainly does, but there is enough humor and humanity to make it pay off in the long run.

Long story short, a drunk is abusing other riders on a commuter train. He is particularly focused on a slender young woman who, along with all the other commuters, is trying in vain to ignore him. A bespectacled geek, laptop in hand, finally, ...and fearfully, steps up to her defense. At the next stop, the police take the drunk into custody but the two principals are asked to come to the police station to give their statements. This leads to a very tentative introduction between these two painfully shy characters.

He can't wait to go home and share his experience on his blog. At this point we become acquainted with his regular correspondents: Three nerds who hang on every word, overreact to each event and are, to my way of thinking, sort of a Three Stooges for the new millennium; a nurse who has by her computer mouse, a snapshot of her and her boyfriend, torn into pieces; a housebound young man who has his meals left at his bedroom door; a businessman who comes home, puts down his briefcase and heads straight for his keyboard; a housewife who would rather eat takeout and surf the Internet, than cook.

Now our young geek wants to get better acquainted with the shy young woman and all of his Internet pals cheer him on. The delightful part is watching him try to become someone he isn't, in a tentative attempt to woo her. His fellow bloggers offer bits of advice and it's clear that they see him as their alter ego, so they are very invested in his success or failure.

This is lots of fun, just bear with those few typically Japanese over- extended and emotional scenes, okay? You can probably obtain this DVD from the library.