And Yet, You Are So Sweet

And Yet, You Are So Sweet Is As Sweet As You Can Get

Dept. of High School Hijinks


In this cinematic era where movies about superheroes, action figures, and historical events dominate the landscape, it can be a little difficult to find something light and comforting that will help you forget about the harsh realities everyday life. The kind of film that you can just lose yourself in and recall the innocence of young love and forbidden romance. Enter, And Yet, You Are So Sweet. A sweet, heartfelt, and occasionally emotional story about a heartbroken schoolgirl who finds herself in a pretend crush with the cutest guy in school. Sounds like a surefire recipe for hijinks and romance. And it does deliver that.

And Yet, You Are So Sweet takes a page out of some classic coming-of-age, high school, rom-coms – think She’s All That, Sixteen Candles, or 10 Things I Hate About You – and encompasses you in a warm blanket of fluttering hearts and days of wild innocence. It’s something we rarely see in Hollywood movies these days. There’s just something so incredibly nostalgic about the tone of the film, from the formulaic way the feelings were evolved throughout the film, to the predictability of the story, and even down to the slow motion, eye gazing moments. Sure, all of this may sound really cheesy, but that’s what made those late 90s/early 2000s rom-coms work. It was silly, it was cute, and most of all, it played with our heart strings, which is what this adaptation does so well.

Oh, to Be Young Again and Be In Love

And Yet, You Are So Sweet

Admittedly, I have never been a huge anime or manga fan, and had never read, or even heard of, the comic that this film was based on. Watching it, however, I didn’t feel like I needed to. You can dive straight into a story like this one. No prior research is necessary.

In fact, the way this movie was shot does feel very much like a manga come to life. The visual aesthetic is incredibly colourful and vibrant (without going too overboard), while the tone of the movie matches the kawaii nature of it all.

Lead actress Mei Hata steals the entire show with her performance of Maaya. You are looking at this film through her eyes and Hata allows you to do that with such ease. She gives an innocent, yet slightly heartbreaking performance. So much so that you want to reach into the screen, give her a hug, and tell her never to stop fighting for herself. From dealing with the most mundane issue of, “should I love him?”, to more serious matters such as bullying and issues of self-image, Hata manages to weave her way through these emotions with grace and lovability.

Which makes it all the more disappointing that J-idol Kyohei Takahashi just doesn’t match up to his co-star. Maybe it’s just the way these idol-turned-actors play off to the camera. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that emotionless-hair-in-the-wind-aren’t-I-handsome approach. Happy, sad, angry, tired, he had the same facial expression throughout the movie. Which bugged me because it didn’t line up with what Hata was doing in this movie.

High School Hearts Aflutter

And Yet, You Are So Sweet

And Yet, You Are So Sweet is, without a doubt, a great date night movie. That said, there were some minor details that stopped it from being a classic. This was mostly due to the B and C plots that felt a little undercooked. For me, the friendship-turned-rivalry between the two male leads was ripe for drama and conflict. And while there were quite a few moments where it looked like they were about to (or at least wanted to) expand on that angle, the movie would ignore it and veer back to the main love story. This genuinely felt like a missed opportunity because that could have been another relationship that felt worth exploring.

That nitpick aside, And Yet, You Are So Sweet is definitely going to check all the tick boxes of a perfect night out. It may be a little predictable, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. If anything, that’s what makes it so great in the first place. You don’t have to think, you don’t have to analyze, you just need to dive straight in and lose yourself in high school love all over again.

And Yet, You Are So Sweet is screening as part of the Japanese Film Festival 2023. You can find out more information and book your tickets here.

Nick Dorian spent most of his childhood dreaming of being a plumber, mainly because he loved watching Super Mario go on adventures. When he heartbreakingly discovered actual plumbers don't go on great adventures in real life, he went on to sit in front of a TV or movie screen, watching more people go on adventures, and then talk to anybody around him about what he's seen, whether they liked it or not. Fast forward to today, he somehow managed to make watching movies and TV shows, and discussing them, an actual living. Which goes to show, dreams do come true. Except when you dream of being an Italian plumber who fights mushrooms and toads.

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