After one rental viewing, I had to own this hysterical, absurd parody of Japanese food, culture, and the American Western. From the beginning scene when a well-dressed connoisseur of food and film introduces the film - and rules of film etiquette - to the segue into the real "movie" with Goro, our hero, complete with cowboy hat and riding in his tanker truck, cab decorated on top with a pair of bull horns, this film celebrates everything it purports to, including Japanese food and film.
Goro decides to mentor Tampopo, the owner of a corner noodle stand in improving her apparently very sub-par soup. There ensues a montage of preparation and work-outs that could if been lifted straight from "Rocky."
Excellent scene, as well in which a group of homeless people review various 4 star restaurant establishments based on their leftovers. Genius.
A wider variety of cinematographic choices - close ups, approaching shots, and vaseline-lensed romance sequences - are almost characters in and of themselves, adding to the absurdity of Tampopo.
The sometimes meandering quality of the film gives us a wonderful window into the role of food in EVERY aspect of Japanese life.
The acting performances are solid. I can imagine the fun they had making "Tampopo".
Some of the funniest parts of the film are the references to various hack devices from American Westerns. The absurdity of a showdown over a bowl of Ramen noodles is brilliant.
I see funny new details everytime I view this film, and I plan to do so MANY more times.