Mixed Doubles is a Japanese romantic comedy film about table tennis. Tamako, played by Yui Aragaki, is a retired table tennis player. She catches her boyfriend who is a professional table tennis player cheating on her with his mixed doubles partner, and decides to start playing table tennis again to get revenge on her boyfriend and his teammate. At the table tennis club in her home town, Tamako meets Hagi (Eita) who was dumped by his wife and daughter. Tamako and Hagi team up and enter a mixed doubles table tennis tournament.
I was very impressed by the acting skill of Yui Aragaki, who played the main character Tamako. Needless to say, she is one of the most beautiful actresses in the industry in Japan. Because of her beauty, she would always play a quiet, lady-like love interest in the past. For this reason, it was really shocking to see her comedic character who would make silly faces and dress up as a juvenile delinquent. I strongly believe Aragaki succeeded to show her hidden acting talent in this movie.
The table tennis scenes looked very natural and believable. The actors did a great job making themselves look like professional ping pong players. I read an article about making this film, and it said they used computer graphics for the table tennis scenes. I did not notice the CGI for some scenes at all as I was watching the film, so the post production did a great job, too. Then I found out the director of photography of this film was Akira Sakou, who also did a very popular film called Ping Pong. For these reasons, I believe Mixed Doubles succeeded to gather the best crew and cast in Japan to create a film about table tennis.
Although the film has a lot of unique characters, the story is very simple and easy to understand. I honestly thought the ending was a bit cheesy and easy to predict, however, this is a romantic comedy so I was not bothered by the cheesiness. Because the film is very easy to watch without really paying attention, I felt like I was watching a TV show, which I kind of liked, but there were some people said it needed to be more dramatic. Overall, I quite enjoyed watching Mixed Doubles, This film definitely made me want to play ping pong.