In which I attempt to solidify some vague thoughts on the differences between The Purple Rose of Cairo and Tonight, at the Movies.
On the face of it, 今夜、ロマンス劇場で or Tonight, at the Movies is a Japanese variation of Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985). Both are stories about a movie-loving person falling in love with a character who literally comes out of a movie. In Tonight, it is a budding scriptwriter and assistant director named Kenji who comes to love the adventurous Princess Miyuki. In Rose, it is Cecelia, a waitress in an unhappy marriage, who falls for dreamy archaeologist Tom Baxter.
Though both begin with the idea of a dream coming true and involve the main character having to make a choice that determines the ending, Rose presents the fantasy alongside brutal reality, and its ending is rooted in the latter. Sad ending, but the most likely logical outcome. Tonight gives us a fantasy that becomes reality, with just a hint of melancholy, and gives us an ending that is closer to a fairytale.Read More