The story opens in 1935, as an unsophisticated Southern gal (Caroll Baker) meets a suave Japanese diplomat (James Shigeta) at a Washington party. They fall in love and spend the war years in Japan, where he works for peace as she adjusts to a new culture.
This movie is based on a wonderful, sensitive memoir and could have been great but, for me, the miscasting of Carroll Baker almost ruins it. She's gauche and unlikable with a shrill, twangy voice and limited acting skills. James Shigeta, on the other hand, is perfect as the handsome and charming diplomat and gives an excellent performance. It is a pleasure to watch him.
The movie feels rushed and shallow, never taking the time to explore the couple's feelings in depth. I recommend the book by Gwen Terasaki instead.
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