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"Come See The Paradise" is a forgotten gem of a movie that takes zone during one of the United States' darkest and most shameful times. At the onset of Globe Fight II, Japanese-Americans were place into internment camps This injustice lasted for few years. Alan Parker's fictional movie takes zone before, during and after this time. It says the storyline of Jack McGurn (Dennis Quaid), an Irish-American labor organizer who falls in love with Lily Kawamura (Tamlyn Tomita), a young woman who lives with her huge family in San Fransisco. Lily's father (Sab Shimono) does not accept with the romance, which forces Jack and Lily to elope in Seattle. Jack gets into some problem with the law while picketing, and Lily, mad that Jack has not changed his methods since the birth of their daughter, Mini, takes the kid back to her family's house. Later after, Pearl Harbor is bombed, the Kawamuras are shuttled off to different camps (except Mr. Kawamura who is believed to be a traitor), and Jack is forced into the army.Like many films, "Come See The Paradise" is about the strength of love. The fact that it uses this period as a backdrop sets it apart from the rest. The chemistry between Quaid and Tomita is amazing. Just watch them together when they meet for the first time and they kiss. It's simply stunning. Quaid has rarely been this good, and Tomita is obviously relishing having a lead role. In most of her movies she's listed as "(somebody's) wife". Movies like this and "The Joy Luck Club" prove that she is one of the most talented and under-used actresses.Some have complained that this movie uses an "American" hero to say the storyline of a "Japanese" family. As if any non-Japanese audience members would not be able to understand, or relate to, the Japanese family. The Quaid hero is named "un-American" because of his labor rights stance. The family is named "un-American" simply because they are of Japanese descent. Even though the kids were born in the United States. So what exactly does it mean to be "un-American"?Side note: this film has not been released on DVD. I anxiously await that day.
The "Front-Page" review of this movie gives the impression that it is not worth seeing "because the plot is wandering" and another unfair accusations. Instead, take a look at Roger Ebert's fine review under the External review portion of IMDb. I first bought this movie back in the days of the Laser Disc, and I know that my "ancient by today's standards" Pioneer player....and perhaps I'm in violation of copyright laws, but I am transferring all my laser discs to DVD, and I cannot possibly think of a finer movie to witness the discriminatory laws that existed during the early days of WWII....even if the focus is on an Irish-American played by Dennis Quaid....and you gotta see the early stage in which he dances/sings to a Japanese song that he has memorized by his position as Projectionist in a Japanese-American theatre in San Francisco. And for those who might play a Jarre/Barry kind movie score, this one is haunting and lovely. Ignore the reviewer and give this terrific movie a chance, and I'll bet you'll love it.
This is one of the most strong movies that I have seen about the Japanese-American experience in the internment camps during WW2.The think that struck me from the very beginning was that these folk were just as American as any of us.They,too,were just trying to live the American Dream,until the disclaimers of the US Government took their dreams away from them.History has a terrible habit of repeating itself,and films like this remind us that regardless of race,creed,or color,we're all just Americans.This was a terrible time for US domestic policy,and hopefully a shameful privacy like this will never rear its ugly head again in our country.
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