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Japan · 1985
1h 55m
Director Juzo Itami
Starring Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto, Ken Watanabe, Koji Yakusho
Genre Comedy

A pair of truck drivers happen onto a decrepit roadside fast food stop selling ramen noodles. The widowed owner, Tampopo, pleads them to help her turn her establishment into a paragon of the "art of noodle soup making".

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Time Out by

Spasmodically effective rather than bitingly funny.


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

Like all of the best comfort food, Tampopo tastes familiar but not derivative, something more than the sum of its ingredients. If Tampopo resonates with you in ways you might not expect or be able to name, it’s because Itami also engenders the same respect for everything that goes into the making of a movie.


Washington Post by Hal Hinson

Tampopo is perhaps the funniest movie about the connection between food and sex ever made. But, as you're watching it, the movie's base broadens, and the parallels between the noodle-maker's art and the filmmaker's become richer, sweeter.


Wall Street Journal by Joe Morgenstern

Lacking space for a proper review, let me say first that Tampopo is right up there with “Ratatouille” and “Big Night” when it comes to peerless movies about food.


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by John Semley

Like newfangled Western revisions of ramen itself – sprinkled with corn niblets and topped with melty hillocks of shredded Swiss cheese – Tampopo is an exercise in hybridity.


Los Angeles Times by Justin Chang

It has the irresistible freshness of a recipe that many have tried to copy and none have matched: a barbed, sprawling, scintillating vision of a society happily in thrall to its taste buds.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

Tampopo is one of those utterly original movies that seems to exist in no known category. Like the French comedies of Jacques Tati, it's a bemused meditation on human nature in which one humorous situation flows into another offhandedly, as if life were a series of smiles.


The New York Times by Vincent Canby

Mr. Itami often strains after comic effects that remain elusive. The most appealing thing about Tampopo is that he never stops trying. A funny sensibility is at work here.

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