Notable Cast: Nao Omori, Shinobu Terajima, Hitoshi Matsumoto, Ai Tominaga, Eriko Santo, Naomi Watanabe, Suzuki Matsuo, Atsuro Watabe, Gin Maeda, Katagiri Hairi, Lindsay Kay Hayward, Mao Daichi
Matsumoto Hitoshi has crafted a modern comedy masterpiece. If that is a bold or ridiculous statement, then maybe the humor in this film doesn't quite deliver what you find funny, but for me and the friend I watched it with, we both laughed very loudly throughout the entirety of the bizarre whirlwind that is R-100.
A man named Takafumi Katayama decides to sign a contract with a man who runs a BDSM organization with a simple and brilliant name... Bondage (completely with a fancy 'B' letter design that crops up throughout). This said contract has a group of dominatrices that show up to 'pleasure' him here and there throughout his day for a year straight. The fun part is they can show up when requested, or they'll just show up whenever, throwing in a randomness dynamic that creates some hilarious scenes.
The mood and tone is pretty unique and the film has a few serious moments that only last for a fraction among the chaos, and they work. There is a human element to all of the characters and you care for all of them no matter how weird things get, and trust me, they get weird.
Matsumoto really says a lot about the rating system and the absurdity of it [the title R-100 is a spoof on the Japanese rating system itself] and peoples' expectations and what they get themselves into when they go into films, which comes in the form of poking at critics and the average movie goer via some very meta moments scattered throughout. I think one of my favorite aspects is the fact that each of the dominatrices that visit him have different titles and different things they do, with my personal, and the crowd favorite it seems, being The Saliva Queen [you'll know when you get there].
I really enjoy this one from start to finish and I am convinced that one day Matsumoto will become more respected stateside, it just may take longer than it needs to. I cannot wait to see what the man does next. My favorite comedy of last year, and easily in my top 10. One not to be missed for those who want something different and fun. Makes a nice double-bill with Sion Sono's Why Don't You Play in Hell [both picked up by Drafthouse Films here in the U.S].
Written By Josh Parmer