Movie review time! This Japanese movie called Kyo, Koi wo Hajimemasu (a.k.a Love for Beginners) which story based on its manga written by Minami Kanan. I am really looking forward to this movie since KKWH is one of my favorite manga. The story is simple yet sweet, it’s a story of first love between a good girl and a bad boy (and coincidentally they have the same name; Tsubaki). Their love journey is full of challenges but they manage to get through it until they get married. Yeah, sometimes the story can be full of cliches but there is no love triangle and other unnecessary drama such as terminal disease, crazy ex, etc. Hence the cliches are forgivable.
The movie itself is average, maybe because I’m familiar with all the scenes so no surprise factors whatsoever. Acting wise, I think both main leads are okay. Matsuzaka Tori as Tsubaki Kyouta is charming and flirty (I prefer his acting as Heiji Hattori though) while Takei Emi as Hibino Tsubaki is sweet but strong-headed. They have good and believable chemistry, but poor Takei Emi is too short for the 6-ft-tall Matsuzaka Tori, he looks much older than her as well (in real life they have 6 years age gap, luckily she is in her legal age now). The movie plot is pretty much the same like the manga, sadly many of my favorite scenes are being left out. But I understand that the 15-volumes-manga is being condensed into 2 hours movie so there is no way they can include every scenes.
In my opinion, the story of KKWH is how we imagine our first love to be like. First a handsome guy fall in love with you despite your lame looks, secondly he is a bad boy turns good because of his love to you, thirdly despite all obstacles you two will be together forever. Those are our fantasies about the perfect first love, sadly real life is much different. And I’m not saying that every first love will fail (my friend is married to her high school sweetheart), what I try to convey is most of the time your first love is not going to last forever. Moreover, the reason why girls are yearning for bad boy is because they believe they can change them. But based on my experience bad boys will remain bad, and it’s better to stay away for them. Yeah, when you are in my age, there is no room for fantasy anymore. Good and reliable guy is definitely the one you should strive for.
But of course I admire Tsubaki’s efforts, she is just too stubborn to give up on her love and that’s really admirable. She works hard and she get what she wants. I think this is the message for all young girls out there who is looking for love (or everything else). But just make sure your target is the right person for you. As for Kyouta, I think deep in his heart he is a good guy with old-fashioned taste, he always follow Tsubaki’s pace and he truly cares for her, a rare breed indeed. If you are looking for a light sweet love story, watch this movie. It has all the elements of your first love’s fantasy and it will entertain you for sure.
PS: I recommend you to read the manga if you haven’t, because it’s much better than the movie. Click here to read the manga.
Watch the movie with English Sub here
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