The Goddess Of 1967

A young Japanese man (Rikiya Kurokawa) goes to Australia with a suitcase loaded with questionable cash, to buy his dream car: a 1967 Citroen, nicknamed “The Goddess”. Unfortunately for him, he arrives to find that the owner has killed his wife and blown his own head off in a murder-suicide. Hmm. But, the Japanese fellow wonders to the pretty young blind woman (Rose Byrne) who answers the door, might the car still be for sale?
Our Rating

Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, Romance

Director: Clara Law

Actors: Rose Byrne, Rikiya Kurokawa

Year: 2000

MPAA Rating: G

Country: United States

Thus begins the latest installment of the well-worn Quirky Road Trip Movie genre. Sure, the guy can have the car, but can he drop the girl off first? Oh, did she mention that the lift she wants is a five-day journey into the middle of nowhere in the Australian Outback? Umm… sure. I guess it’s a deal.

But as with all road trips, secrets are revealed, dark memories are unearthed, sexual lust is kindled, and we have flashback after extended flashback to earlier times, illustrating the role this car has traveled with the girl’s twisted family. But Goddess also throws in some quirky extra flavor, like biting lizards, traveling boxing shows, an entertaining jukebox jig, and heck, even a chastity belt!

There was a lot I liked about The Goddess of 1967. The two leads were strange and charming, especially the quite lovely and very funny Rikiya Kurokawa, who was sorely missed whenever he was not on screen (i.e. the flashback scenes). He’d fit in very well plopped in the middle of just about any Jim Jarmusch film. The look of the film was notably unique as well, for instance never acknowledging the shaky and badly-spliced background images through the windows whenever the characters were in the car driving. Plus a lot of the humor in the movie was weird enough to keep me amused and interested.

But the slow pacing of the film, which isn’t a bad thing at first, gradually grows frustrating. This film could’ve been greatly tightened up, as you can’t help but wonder how many long flashback scenes are necessary to establish the background of a character. (It helps only a little bit when you realize that the film can’t go further back than 1967, when the car itself was made… whew!) By the end of the film, I was ready to just wrap things up, grab Rikiya Kurokawa, tell the chick to go sort out her own problems, and take off on a road trip of my own.


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