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Rent-a-Cat

By MITCH LILLIE
[ONE NIGHT ONLY] Megaphone in hand and cat-filled cart in tow, middle-aged cat lady Sayoko (Mikako Ichikawa) walks along the riverside, announcing: “Rent a cat! Cat, cat! Are you lonely? Why not rent a cat?” Her only interactions with humans are to loan them cats, and she finds three people in real need of a temporary pet. Rent-a-Cat does elicit laughs, and characters both feline and human are undeniably cute. The premise is promising. But through each of the three transactions, the film repeats certain tropes (the rude neighbor, Sayoko’s ever-changing day job, the lessee’s offer of more money) and even exact lines. The predictability, though intentional, is puzzling. By the third rental, a bored and anxious audience will be singing, “The flowers are red, the sky is blue,” along with the character who has already sung that line twice. The mold breaks, hastily and awkwardly, only in the final minutes of the film, but to call this a resolution would just be inhumane.
 

Special Note

NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 7 pm Saturday, Dec. 15
 
  • Running Time:
  • Release Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
  • Critic's Score: C
  • Watch the trailer
 

Show Times

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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