Tampopo (1985)

Tampopo (1985)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Tampopo Photos

Movie Info

The sophomore directorial effort from ill-fated Japanese filmmaker Juzo Itami, Tampopo is an off-beat comedy featuring several intersecting stories all related to food. Tsutomu Yamazaki plays Goro, a truck driver who helps a young widow named Tampopo (Nobuko Miyamoto) improve her noodle restaurant. Over the course of the film, the story drifts around, not only following the stories of Tampopo, her son, and Goro, but also a number of customers who come through the diner, including an old woman (Izumi Hara) who insists on squeezing the cheese at a market and a criminal (Ken Watanabe) with a food-based kink. Tampopo was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 1988 Independent Spirit Awards.
Art House & International , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Itami Productions


Koji Yakusho
as Man in White Suit
Akira Kubo
as Restaurant Owner
Shuji Otake
as Rich Old Man
Choei Takahashi
as Company's Staff
Masahiko Tsugawa
as Supermarket's Manager
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Tampopo

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (11)

Japanese films have commented before on the intrinsic connection between food and sex, but not with the erotic gusto of Juzo Itami's Tampopo and rarely with the comic lustiness of this broad-scale satire.

Full Review… | March 13, 2015
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Itami's humor and invention is such that we never have a chance to feel deprived. His stylistic palette and sense of fun are so wide-ranging that he can oscillate between brightness and darkness to articulate one gag.

Full Review… | March 13, 2015
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Tampopo is, among many other things, the first "spaghetti eastern" and one of its particular charms is that it celebrates as much as satirizes. No movie gourmet with exotic tastes should miss it.

Full Review… | March 13, 2015
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

It's a funny story beautifully told.

Full Review… | March 13, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The movie makes you laugh, gets you hungry, stirs things up.

Full Review… | March 13, 2015
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

A thoroughly offbeat but most enjoyable comedy on the subject of food.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Tampopo


Tampopo is a light-hearted feel-good comedy with a heavy focus on making a winning bowl of ramen and setting up a great shop. There were quite a few bits I found to be random which were probably cultural references but if you are amused by randomness then you'll find they flow in with the rest of the general wackiness. While I don't rate it quite on the level of Cantonese comedies such as the God of Cookery, Tampopo is still a fun view.

Robert Brogan
Robert Brogan

Super Reviewer

A timeless feast for the senses, saw it twice in college with friends. We ate ramen before watching it, but still left in the middle of the movie to go get more. It will taunt your appetite and twist your salivating imagination around its chopsticks until your craving can't hold out any longer. Hilarious and very Asian vignettes about the cultural importance of food in a Japan that's trying to westernize without losing its Nippon identity. (The beggar foodies especially reminded me of the Chinese wuxia stories.) And it's a delight to watch the sweet, understated chivalry between Goro and Tampopo.

Letitia Lew
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer


Juzo Itami creates one piece of work in Tampopo, a film that centers around ramen. This movie will make you hungry for noodles. I don't care if you are sick or you just ate. You will be hungry for noodles.

When it comes down to it, this film is about a group of people that help turn a middle aged woman's cheap ramen shop into the best one in town. However, there is much more in this movie than just that. Why? I do not know. The beginning starts off with a man talking to the audience (you) about manners while watching a movie. The opening credits is then in black and white and finally we are under way.

The story is interesting and there is sort of a childish tone to it, which keeps things fun. Speaking of fun, throughout this film there are scenes that have just no meaning in here. There are a few love scenes, an old woman in a grocery store, a man rushing home to his dying wife, etc. The ONLY thing these scenes have in common is food. The love scenes involve food as an aphrodisiac. There is nudity and all. The old woman in the grocery store is smashing food with her fingers. The man rushes home to his dying wife so she can cook her last meal. Why are these scenes there? To make the movie longer? To make the story more entertaining? No matter the reason, they are there and they will get people laughing.

Nobuko Miyamoto and Tsutomu Yamazaki both carry this movie nicely and the supporting cast follow their leaders.

Tampopo is one film that is hard to pass up. Also, what is up with the end credits?

JY Skacto
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

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