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Mao Inoue and Jonathan Sherr to star in 'My Darling is a Foreigner'

63 Comments

Actress Mao Inoue, 22, famous as Makino Tsukushi in “Hana yori dango,” and actor Jonathan Sherr, 35, will play husband and wife in the upcoming movie version of the popular comic book series “My Darling is a Foreigner.”

Written and illustrated by Saori Oguri, the comic books tell the tales of her life with American husband Tony Laszlo, as they encounter and overcome cultural differences and barriers. The series has sold over 2 million copies and snippets have been shown inside JR trains in Tokyo since 2007, providing comic relief for the crowds traveling to work and school and so forth.

Filming has already begun and Inoue commented on the warm atmosphere, saying she wants it to continue right the way through. “I’ve never had a foreign boyfriend, but quite a few of my friends and relatives have," Inoue said. "So they tell me it’s likely I will have one too! I imagine it would be fun being in an international relationship, and the small things of everyday life would be interesting.”

Inoue also commented on Sherr’s good looks, saying: “When I first met him, I thought ‘Wow! He’s cool!'”

Sherr said he couldn't believe he was chosen for the part. "I wondered if it was OK for me to star beside such a beautiful woman.”

“My Darling is a Foreigner” will open in cinemas next spring.

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63 Comments
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I read these books as my wife has them lying around the house. The comic parts anyway. If the movie is as funny and entertaining as the books it should be a successs.

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Tony Laszlo is American born of parents of Hungarian and Italian descent.

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what is this? an attempt to remake Bewitched or something? Sounds like dross

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“I wondered if it was OK for me to star beside such a beautiful woman.”

Doesn't sound very foreign with a line like that.
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Actually the comic books (including the original series and the various spin-offs) are a warm, funny, entertaining, and--believe it or not--informative look at the life of a bi-national couple. Thanks to the everyday common sense of Saori (the wife, and manga artist), and the intelligence of Tony (husband and linguistic savant), it avoids all of the annoying stereotypes of the genre.

I'm afraid a lot of those stereotypes will creep into the movie version, though, if the Japanese producers/directors are given free rein...

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My wife reads those comics - horrible artwork.

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they could have chosen a more mature woman...22 years old ?

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They should have got a 25 year old guy and a 34 year old woman.

Just sayin'

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And who's this Johnny Sherr fella? Is he a Hollywood actor or some ex-NOVA teacher they found.

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http://www.f-w.co.jp/ex-art/jonathansherr/index.html

Jonathan Sherr looks spookily similar to Tony Lazlo.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20041017x1.html

I can't comment on Mr. Sherr's acting ability or lack of the same.

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Mai Inoue is a bit young to play Saori in my opinion, makes Tony look like a cradle snatcher. I'd like to see the movie but hope that Oguri and Laszlo have enough control to keep annoying stereotypical stuff out of the script. If it is true to the manga it should be good.

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@Noirgaijin,

That would have never made it pass the Japanese censorship, because that form of relationship does not exist on Japanese TV or movies.

What kind of relationship is that?

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What TV and figure it out yourself. Just speaking from 20 years of living in this country.

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Noirgaijin,

Relationship between

Man and women?

Tall ans short?

Old and young?

Hairy and not so hairy?

American and Japanese?

Enlighten us, please.

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Oh if only these gals knew how much hard work goes into making international relationships survive..is the author actually married to a foreigner,does anyone know?

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Didn't he have a girlfriend (Japanese) on one of his softbank commercials and the family caught them walking together?

Wow, 20 years of Japanese TV watching. You should watch more TV. I can barely watch a full day J-TV. You have an iron constitution.

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Yep, watch Japanese TV 24 hour, 7 days a week! Keeps me going strong.

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Aya Ueto is his TV sister. The family Mom, Dad and Ms. Ueto bumped into him at a park with his girlfriend.

Moderator: You're on the wrong thread.

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Oh if only these gals knew how much hard work goes into making international relationships survive..is the author actually married to a foreigner,does anyone know?

Yes, Saori Oguri really is married to Tony Laszlo in real life, and those are their real names. The manga is basically semi-autobiographical.

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I'm a gaijin and my wife is Japanese, we've been married for 16 years.An international marriage certainly is interesting, with it's ups and downs. It certainly helps to have supportive family and friends when things are a bit rough. I will certainly make the effort to watch this movie when it comes out, and see how true to life it is.

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In the manga, Tony comes off as eccentric even from a Western point of view.

I don't really buy the whole "international marriages are so difficult" line. If things go wrong, it's totally up to the individuals involved, not because of some mysterious "cultural differences".

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My husband is Japanese and I will tell you it wasn't easy. A bit of language barrier and my Latin temper made things interesting and challenging. But 4 years later we're still going strong. Getting together with other gaijin wives helped me alot.

I am definitely going to check this movie out...

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I guess they could make life difficult for some, but my father and I actually find the mysterious "cultural differences" are what make international marriages interesting. Sounds like the movie will be fun, if done correctly.

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My wife reads those comics - horrible artwork<

Horrible artwork? Horrible comment. It's manga, not a coffee table book of Van Gogh.

I love book about studying Japanese culture in Kyoto.

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Any relationship can be challenging even if you are native speakers of any language. The international marriage difficulties that many harp on about seems to be a defence mechanism if something goes wrong.

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@harmoneeikaiwa

Where did you even see that statement even said? Did you mean in general because I did not see anyone harping about it.

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Hello how about proposing a movie "My husband is Japanese"...the stories are not in mangas but in some International and NGOs Magazines.

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International marriages do bring their own unique challenges and stresses. Its a fact. It doesnt mean a non-international marriage is any less stressful, but being raised in two completely different cultures with two completely different ways of thinking does cause some communication issues and problems from time to time. The trick is how you both deal with it. We have found that, right from the beginning, going into the marriage knowing there are going to be problems and being willing to do whatever it takes to make things work has been the key. Many friends of mine in "single culture" marriages whose marriages have failed have said it was partly because they had unrealistic expectations of how marriage was going to be so when things got difficult they weren`t prepared for it.

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@SpanishEyez37 Well scouring thru some of the comments and on this "international marriage" topic in general,in past times,it can't helped be mentioned about the so called internationalization of a Japanese and a foreigner hooking up.It has been so sexed up to seem exotic and whatnot. It is basically two people being together,with not much more or less.

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I have never heard of either of these people.

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I believe after this movie comes out, there will be an even bigger trend for Japanese women to want to marry Caucasian men. Just like handbags and little dogs. I also for see a generation of increase divorces and abandoned children and possibly cases like the guy who just got 13 years. Like someone said earlier, I hope this movie doesn't play on the stereotypes where all logic and common sense goes out the window.

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Oops, sorry about the grammar mistake.

I also for see a generation of increase divorces and abandoned children and possibly cases like the guy who just got 13 years.

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Sequel: "My Casting Director has a Rorikon."

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Never heard of this manga because I'm not into comics. Does anybody know if it's in English?

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Why didn't they call it 'My Darling is an American'? The word 'foreigner' has some negative connotations and clumps a whole lot of people into one group...Also, why is international marriage still such a big deal here? (rhetorical question) it's unfortunate that some continue to view people in terms of 'us' and 'them'...

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My wife is Japanese and we are living in Switzerland ... As far as I see, there is not such a great distance between the people of our nations. Of course in good and bad aspects ...

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actually find the mysterious "cultural differences" are what make international marriages interesting

I find the issue of how their kids will turn out at puberty to be the most interesting aspect.

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I have seen the comic played on the train information screens on the Yamanote line. It seems OK, I wouldn't say it was really funny. It will be more of novelty for people in similar cross cultural relationships or those who want to be in one. I don't think anyone will get any kind of profound wisdom from watching it.

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My opinion about that manga is very low, in spite or because I live in a international marriage, too. It is pretty shallow, and full of these "look, a gaijin! and he eats spaghetti" kind of informative stories.

From the original book, it doesn't even turn out the Laszlo is an American. He is said to be Italian and Hungarian, then on the next page they discussing that he first heard about soccer in Japan. Yes, he is an Italian according to the story, who haven't heard about soccer till coming to Japan..

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Hello how about proposing a movie "My husband is Japanese"...the stories >are not in mangas but in some International and NGOs Magazines.

Why? "My Daring is a Foreigner" actually works the way it is anywhere in any country.

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@BiginJapan

Yes, he is an Italian according to the story, who haven't heard about soccer till coming to Japan..

That sounds like an American to me. LOL! It isn't very popular in the States. I don't even think it is in the top ten favorite sports in America. I rate it up there with getting a root canal.

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@big Indeed. But I find superficial when someone doesn't even know which country his husband is from. Oh, some gaijin, they are all the same.

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Hmm, could be interesting. I love Inoue Mao, and a quick google for Jonathan Sherr reveals he really is quite handsome. I'll be intrigued to see if the film is genuinely sincere about sharing the ups and downs of international marriages, or if it's just going to be a, "Look at the silly gaijin make social gaffes!" kind of film. I hope for the former, expect the latter, and imagine it will fall somewhere in between. :)

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Let me guess, that would be a Japanese woman and a Caucasian man.

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@Triple888

Let me guess, that would be a Japanese woman and a Caucasian man.

But of course! Like someone said earlier, those are the only kind of relationships that are allowed to exist in Japan. Anything else wouldn't pass censorship. You children are only 'haafu' if they are Caucasian and Japanese. Anything else and your child is miscellaneous or other. ;)

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For those of you who are complaining about the political correctness of the book or propagating social stereotypes - there was this real couple, Saori Oguri and this Laszlo guy, they were married, and she wrote a book/manga for the Japanese people about the adventures in their marriage. She chose the title "foreigner" because her husband, being an American of European descent, goes beyond one country. It turned to be a hit here, so now they want to make it into a movie. That's why the movie talks about a Japanese woman married to a Caucasian - because that's how this story went. All complaints are kind of missing the point. Ah, and as with most of the books published in this country, this one was written for the Japanese audience, too, so if you don't understand it, well, too bad.

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It's called my darling is a foreigner because that is the title of the Manga. Well except for skipping the possessive pronoun. The direct translation would be "Darling is foreigner" but hey that's Japanese. The great thing about the books is that Laszlo is the one that speaks Japanese and Saori can hardly put together two words of English. Most of the Japanese girl western guy couples I know are the exact opposite. Guy comes to Japan and meets a Japanese girl who has studied English like mad since Junior High school in hopes of meeting a western romeo and settles on the first guy available to make her dreams come true. Those are the kind of relationships that usually end up in divorce because they start out on false expectations not reality.

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Actually if the non-Japanese half of any bi-national couple would actually sit down and READ the series, they would find plenty to laugh about and a lot they might have in common with Saori and Tony.

Can't say I'd expect much for the live-action film, though. Tony is just too quirky a character for an actor who was picked mainly on his physical resemblence (okay, just the beard, probably) to handle.

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Tony is just too quirky a character for an actor who was picked mainly on his physical resemblence (okay, just the beard, probably) to handle.

It shouldn't be a problem. Aren't all Caucasian foreigners the same? Any meat sack will do.

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This will be a huge hit! I can't wait to see it. Inoue Mao is the best.

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Lucky Guy~

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With all the stereotypes of foreigners floating around in Japan (see McDonald's Mr. James), My Darling is a Foreigner is definitely a good thing. The foreigner is smart and speaks Japanese. Much of the manga covers the struggles the author faces in dealing with assumptions about their relationship, such as that she must speak good English or that she'll eventually move overseas. It also addresses some serious issues, such as discrimination against foreigners in the housing. More than what it informs about international marriages, it's value is in presenting a real and fair image of foreigners in Japan. Hopefully the movie will preserve this value.

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Can I be Lazlos stunt double

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Re: My Darling is a Foreigner vs. Mr. James

Kind of ironic that the guy "leading" the revolt against Mr. James (Debito Arudou) has a MASSIVE hate-on for Tony Laszlo. It is detailed all over Debito's site. He seems upset that most of Japan knows and loves Tony because of his wife's manga as opposed to him who is known only in certain circles and opinions vary quite wildly about him.

I think hearing this will make him more jealous.

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Well, Tony is all about positive, constructive, inclusive communication focusing on what brings people together, so...

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Too bad "MY DARLING" couldn't be about an internationl Japanese guy and a beaufitul white girl for a change...

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He seems upset that most of Japan knows and loves Tony because of his wife's manga as opposed to him who is known only in certain circles and opinions vary quite wildly about him.

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

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Well,Japanese do like to keep things light and this title does.

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This is not a "look at the silly gaijin making strange cultural mistakes in Japan" kind of movie. The book is a best seller here in Japan and I really hope the movie is also a hit. A Japanese dude and a white wife? By the way, there are more Japanese men who are married to foreign women than Japanese women married to foreign men, these are true statistics. But which would make a more romantic love story?

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Daily things can become interesting in an international relationship...I remember going with my new bride to a classy pasta restaurant. Doing my best to order in Japanese, I blurted out "supagheddi onegaishimasu" which translates into English as "could I please have super diarrhea?"

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Can't say I'd expect much for the live-action film, though. Tony is just too quirky a character for an actor who was picked mainly on his physical resemblence (okay, just the beard, probably) to handle.

Both Jonathan Sherr (who is playing Tony) and Tony are friends of mine. Jonathan grew the beard for this role, is much taller than Tony and really doesn't look much like him at all. He is very talented actor and comic improviser who is more than capable of portraying Tony and his "quirks". If the movie turns out bad I'm sure it won't be Jonathan's fault.

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By the way, there are more Japanese men who are married to foreign women than Japanese women married to foreign men, these are true statistics.

Yes, but they are Japanese guys married to wives from other Asian countries. That's hardly as interesting to the Japanese public as an interracial couple.

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A western girl and Japanese guy would be sooooo much more romantic!!!! ^__^ I know we are minority, but western girl/japanese guy couples, WE ROCK! ^^

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