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The Ramen Girl is a 2008 film about a lonely American girl in Japan who desperately wants to learn how to cook a traditional bowl of ramen noodles.


Have you ever been alone in a foreign place? I have. I’ve been to Japan a couple of times – once in downtown Tokyo late at night. It was frustrating and a little bit scary not knowing where to go or what to do, maybe that’s why I identified so easily with this film. Lucky for me (and the protaganist in this movie) the Japanese people are very friendly and helpful – even to confused American tourists!


The Ramen Girl

  • Starring: Brittany Murphy, Toshiyuki Nishida, Sohee Park
  • Rated: Rated PG-13 for some sexual content.
  • Released: 2008
  • Genre: Comedy, drama, romance
  • My Opinion: A fun film that I really liked.


Abby is a woman who has come to Japan to be with her American boyfriend, but upon arriving learns that he is going away… and he wants to break up with her! That kind of sucks. She is devastated and goes to a nearby ramen noodle shop to eat and grieve. The shop, however, is closed – wouldn’t you know it. Being in her stricken state she begs to be let in, so the owner and his wife eventually make a bowl of ramen to calm her down. She loves it, and comes back the next day for more. She keeps coming back and soon decides that she wants to be a ramen chef too. Mr. Maezumi (the shop owner) relectantly agrees to hire her, but only gives her menial and degrading tasks to do. But through her tenacity and perseverance she is eventually taught to make noodles and the question becomes: can she make good enough ramen to touch people’s hearts and change their feelings? Only one person can truly be the judge of that – the master chef that is on his way to test her skills!


  • I love movies that play off cross-cultural differences, and this show does a great job with that. If you’ve ever been to Japan you will enjoy this movie even more.
  • I didn’t like how Abby was the stereo-typical dumb American girl, but the changes she makes throughout the film were moving.
  • Without a doubt the best part of this show was Mr. Maezumi, the grumpy ramen shop owner. I laughed out loud several times at the crazy things he did – even though he really was kind of a jerk!


  • I watched The Ramen Girl online via Netflix Instant streaming service. (I’m not sure how long it will be available, so take advantage of it while you can.)
  • You can also rent The Ramen Girl DVD from Netflix – if that’s your cup of tea (or noodles – Ha!).
  • You can purchase your very own copy of The Ramen Girl at Amazon.com or eBay.


  • Outsourced – about an American man who goes to India to train his future call center manager replacement.