It's Me, It's Me: Film Review

The middling comedy runs on manufactured quirks and unexplained supernatural phenomena.

A Japanese twentysomething must battle copies of himself after a scam triggers cosmic payback.

Telephone fraud causes reality to go haywire, or something like that, in Satoshi Miki's It's Me, It's Me, a comedy that is much less interested in making its supernatural hijinks plausible than in getting the digital compositing right. Sporting a broad comic approach familiar to Asian film buffs but bending that goofy mood in ill-considered ways, the picture isn't very satisfying as either comedy or adventure; even on video, its audience will be limited in the West.

Pop star Kazuya Kamenashi plays Nagano, who works in a big electronics store but would rather be a pro photographer; who wouldn't want to escape a workplace where each of your colleagues is defined by a single, movie-ready exaggerated mannerism? After stealing a stranger's phone, he dials "Mom" from the contacts list and impersonates the stranger, conning the woman who answers into putting nearly a million yen into his bank account.

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For reasons the film can't be bothered to imagine, this triggers much identity-tweaking weirdness. Nagano is no longer recognized at home, as a look-alike has taken his place; soon, more copies pop up all over town. What initially comes across as a cut-rate Multiplicity, with Kamenashi playing versions of himself that are degraded by "generation loss," soon veers from comedy into unconvincing darker territory, the suggestion being that these copies might take over the world if Nagano doesn't get busy killing them off.

Seeming to model its self-consciously kooky vibe on the lighter work of David Lynch -- toward the end, the uncredited composer does his own Xerox job on Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks score -- the film is tedious instead of tantalizing, stocked with expectant pauses and hints of mystery but far too little payoff.

Production Company: Dub

Cast: Kazuya Kamenashi, Yuki Uchida, Ryo Kase

Director-Screenwriter: Satoshi Miki

Producers: Taro Nagamatsuya, Yuko Shiomaki, Yusuke Wakabayashi

Executive producers: Julie K. Fujishima

Director of photography: Takashi Komatsu

Production designers: Toshihiro Isomi, Emiko Tsuyuki

Costume designer: Masae Miyamoto

Editor: Naoichiro Sagara

No rating, 118 minutes

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