Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Be With You: and you, and her too...

In keeping with the gossipy tone of yesterday's TIFF post and adding a hefty dollop of salaciousness, this morning the tabloid papers confirmed what the even less scrupulous weekly rumour rags have been whispering about for weeks: actors Nakamura Shido (34) and Takeuchi Yuko (26) are calling it quits on their 16-month marriage.

Don't worry, there is actual film news at the end of this story, but not before you wade through a bit of dirty laundry.

June 25th, 2005: After meeting on the set of lachrymose megahit "Be With You" (Ima, Ai ni Yukimasu), major stars Nakamura and Takeuchi enter into a shotgun marriage due to an unplanned pregnancy.

November 2005: Takeuchi gives birth. It's a boy.

February 2006: Takeuchi returns to the public eye in a commercial for Shiseido's shampoo Tsubaki.

July 2006: Nakamura is arrested for drunk driving and running a red light in Tokyo's Setagaya ward. He claims to have indulged in a few tipples on a plane back to Japan, after which he went out with friends and only drank Oolong tea, and claims he was unaware of his inebriation. It is discovered that he was driving with a female passenger, not Takeuchi, but Nakamura asserts that she is a mutual friend of the couple, and more tellingly, not in the entertainment biz.
Takeuchi and her son subsequently move into her office, which is explained as a way for them to avoid the prying eyes of the weekly gossip magazines, but actually turns out to be a prelude to divorce.

A few weeks later: Whaddya know! The woman in the car was actually actress Okamoto Aya (23).

September 25th 2006: Nakamura is snapped in the wee hours indulging in a clandestine meeting at a family restaurant with sexy actress and divorcee Takaoka Saki (33).

Late October 2006: Takeuchi's return to the big screen is announced for director Negishi Kichitaro's "Saidoka ni Inu" (literally translated as A Dog in the Sidecar), where funnily enough she plays the mistress of a father whose wife has run out on him.

November 1st: The charade is over: Takeuchi files for divorce.

Now we return to you to your regularly-scheduled film news:

"Saidoka ni Inu" is based on a short story from Nagashima Yu's Akutagawa Prize-winning "Mo-Supido de Haha wa". After the mother (Suzuki Sawa) of 10-year-old KaoruĆ£€€(Matsumoto Kana) leaves home, the raucous cigarette-smoking mistress (Takeuchi) of her father (Furuta Arata) suddenly moves in. Her personality is the direct opposite of her mother, but Kaoru's initial apprehension gradually develops into admiration for her forthright ways.

The film opens next autumn and also stars Shiina Kippei, Nukumizu Yoichi, and Kiki Kirin. (sources: Sanspo 1 & 2)

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