The Last Chance: Diary of Comedians (2013) [movie review]

Recently I have some free time to do some catching up with movies. So here’s one starring Koide Keisuke and Ito Atsushi. It’s about these two classmates who later became a conbi or partners as comedian duo by the name Bozo Swimmers.

The Last Chance Diary of Comedians.2013.mkv_snapshot_00.17.18_[2015.06.26_12.02.23]

The story started with Komoto (Koide Keisuke) slipping a notebook into Tanaka’s (Ito Atsushi) letterbox. He asked to chat and exchange their thoughts in it. I find it funny when they don’t talk much in their daily life and yet work as comedians. I guess 12 years is a long time afterall. Komoto is the more outgoing and extrovert type while Tanaka, the quiet genius who writes all their skits. Initially, Tanaka refused to chat with him using the notebook and kept returning him empty copies with just a simple “No way”.

The Last Chance Diary of Comedians.2013.mkv_snapshot_00.03.47_[2015.06.26_11.42.23]Komoto had a girlfriend, Kumi (Nagasawa Masami) who worked two jobs. Komoto moved into her apartment and basically leeched off her while he struggled with their comedian act.

The Last Chance Diary of Comedians.2013.mkv_snapshot_00.07.41_[2015.06.26_11.49.25]Meanwhile, Tanaka had a day job at the Tsutaya store where he met a colleague, Udagawa (Fumino Kimura), who later became interested in him.

The Last Chance Diary of Comedians.2013.mkv_snapshot_00.29.21_[2015.06.26_12.15.58]There were various flashback scenes of when they were still young. It’s actually weird to see these two in school uniforms. No matter how they tried to change their hairstyle, they just don’t look like students anymore. In the first part of the movie, their struggles as unknown comedian duo was both frustrating and disappointing. Yet they never wavered and continued doing what they love to do.

The Last Chance Diary of Comedians.2013.mkv_snapshot_00.16.02_[2015.06.26_12.01.02]Later Tanaka suggested to join a competition for comedians where the winner will score 20 million yen. However, they had to beat hundreds of other participants too before even moving into the final round.

The Last Chance Diary of Comedians.2013.mkv_snapshot_00.31.11_[2015.06.26_12.18.17] The Last Chance Diary of Comedians.2013.mkv_snapshot_00.38.31_[2015.06.26_12.40.50]

Getting fired up, Tanaka began observing daily routines and took notes for skit ideas. However, one night, he realized that there’s nothing better than using the diary they’d both written over the year. The skits would be based upon their real live experiences as struggling comedians. They managed to get through till the semi finals and their spirits were at their peak. Komoto was almost certain they’ll win the contest.

The Last Chance Diary of Comedians.2013.mkv_snapshot_00.44.55_[2015.06.26_12.41.34]However, Komoto screwed up when he forgot his lines during the semi finals and there goes their dream of making it big.

The Last Chance Diary of Comedians.2013.mkv_snapshot_00.48.26_[2015.06.26_12.36.01]

After the loss, Komoto decided to split up, much to Tanaka’s dismal. He tried to convince Komoto it wasn’t his fault they lost their chance but Komoto was adamant that this was the right direction.

  The Last Chance Diary of Comedians.2013.mkv_snapshot_00.53.37_[2015.06.26_12.43.31]

After leaving Japan for a year abroad due to a travel show he accepted, he came back to meet his year old daughter.

The Last Chance Diary of Comedians.2013.mkv_snapshot_01.18.50_[2015.06.26_13.10.51]By then, Tanaka had already made it big with another comedian (their previous rival). They had their own late-night show. Watching the success of his previous partner, Komoto was choked up with mixed feelings but mostly glad Tanaka made it afterall. He then wrote his last entry on the diary, thinking it would never be seen by Tanaka anyway.

The Last Chance Diary of Comedians.2013.mkv_snapshot_01.34.01_[2015.06.26_13.24.44]

Fast forward 17 years later, Komoto’s daughter had grown up. She met Tanaka and showed him the diary. Komoto had written the truth behind the split up. A producer had asked him to split up and offered him another job to make way for Tanaka. This is because he felt Komoto was holding Tanaka back.

The Last Chance Diary of Comedians.2013.mkv_snapshot_01.45.54_[2015.06.26_17.59.03]

Basically Komoto sacrificed himself for Tanaka. It was a truly touching tale of friendship. Komoto had liver cancer and though their dreams never came true, Tanaka at least made up with him.

The Last Chance Diary of Comedians.2013.mkv_snapshot_01.50.03_[2015.06.26_17.59.45]

Overall impression:

I do like this movie. The pacing is quite good and the skits are actually quite funny and well written. More than anything, Koide Keisuke is superb as Komoto, his antics are mostly hilarious and it compliments Tanaka’s personality very well. It’s a good insight into the world of comedians in Japan. There are obviously famous ones and the not-so-famous ones. The rest are probably like Boso Swimmers, who struggles and perseveres but never make it. The world is just that unkind. Their relationship is well portrayed and I thought the scene where they split up was like a couple breaking up lol. I thought the Becky cameo appearances are kinda random but pleasant nonetheless. Both Nagawasa Masami and Fumino Kimura didn’t have much to do except play their respective partners, though Masami did have significantly more scenes than Fumino. Either way, it’s supposed to focus on both Tanaka and Komoto, so that’s well done. Watch it if you’re a fan or you’re looking for some laughs, but do expect some sentimental scenes towards the end.

Score: 7/10


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