So a few days ago I watched the love stage movie with an online friend over discord. The new live action one, that is. Now, from the reviews online and the *bad* IMDB score I had expected it to not be great, but a lot of people did comment it was bad in a fun way lol. So why not watch it together and have a good laugh? But despite going in with low expectations, kind of expecting a movie "so bad that it's good", I was pleasantly surprised at how much I unironically liked it! So I decided to write some short thoughts on it. Please note there might be some spoilers in here.
First of all, the actors are cute. However, I am sad they don't really look like the characters from the anime, especially Izumi. Izumi in the anime has bright blond hair, that is one of his defining features, but in the movie, this is gone. He is still quite cute though, though not as cute as in the anime. I guess making real life people look as cute as anime characters is simply an unrealistic expectation, even if they are cute asian actors XD. Rei also didn't really look like his anime counterpart for me, but at least he was still the only functional adult in the house. In general, they really got the character's personalities down well. Izumi was still obsessed with lala luluu and did anything for merch (though his brother Shougo got him a t-shirt in this movie instead of an alarm clock), Shougo was still doting on his "cute younger brother", etc. So overall, in terms of how they portrayed the characters and how cute the actors were, I am quite happy.
Having said this, the acting was a bit off at times. Overall it was cute and I enjoyed the movie, but at some points it was a bit "cringe". This is something a lot of Asian movies suffer from in my experience. I have no idea why this is - maybe the budgets are just too low to hire top-tier actors? IDK. They certainly look cute though! The scene with the most hilariously cringy acting for me was the one that is also in the anime where Ryouma tries to force himself on Izumi in the beginning before Shougo saves him. I almost died laughing from the acting when they were running around in circles with Ryouma chasing his prey LOL. The voices! That is another point to make - most of the cringey parts of the acting where of the "so bad it's good" variety, where the cringe just made it funnier, so I didn't mind it at all. It's not highbrow entertainment anyway, it's love stage , no-one is going to watch it expecting something deep. You just want a fluffy, fun, enjoyable, movie that makes you happy and warm and fuzzy inside, and the acting definitely helped with that, even the cringey parts often lol. I also have to say that once they fell in love with each other that really showed through, and the scene where Ryouma tried to inspire Izumi to not give up on his dream after one failure was also super sweet!
In terms of story, it's still love stage , so don't go in expecting anything super profound. It's just a funny, cute romcom. Having said that, while they mostly followed the story from the anime/manga, we did notice some changes. These were not that big, and didn't make it any less fun. Without wanting to spoil it completely, I felt that the very slighty changed ending in the movie (which also served to give it a good form of closure despite it's short length) was quite funny and cute at the same time... involving some paparazzi. The slight changes also didn't make me feel any less connected to the characters or anything like that, I still love my boi Izumi.
Overal I really enjoyed the movie. We also both agreed that the ending theme song, while a minor thing, is very catchy and addictive and sounds great. For me, the movie gets bonus points for it's cute actors and high enjoyment factor and cute fluffy moments, but it loses some for having the actors not look like the characters they are meant to portray, and for the bad acting at points, despite the fact I enjoyed it at times XD. Overall I give it a 7/10, or maybe a 69/100 (wink wink), and I recommend any love stage fan to go look it up on youtube (it can easily be found there by just searching for "love stage live action movie", with English subtitles ;). However, if for any reason you don't get to watch it, it's not the end of the world by any means. It's an enjoyable fluff comfort movie to watch with some pocky or popcorn, especially if you bring one or more friends along for the experience, but it will not give you anything substantially new from the anime and manga or any substantial new story content. Still, enjoy if you get the chance! I am quite sure you will not be disappointed if you are a love stage fan like myself :)
That's all for today, see you next time! Go back to the index if you want to take a look at the other posts I have written on this site :)