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6,214 Ratings

Family Romance, LLC

Directed by Werner Herzog
United States, 2019


Love is a business at Family Romance, a company that rents human stand-ins for any occasion. Founder Yuichi Ishii helps make his clients’ dreams come true. But when the mother of 12-year-old Mahiro hires Ishii to impersonate her missing father, the line between acting and reality threatens to blur.

Our take

MUBI is ecstatic to take you on a surreal new adventure with indefatigable globetrotting auteur, Werner Herzog. Filmed guerrilla-style in Japan, Herzog’s unique dramatization of the real phenomenon of renting family members and social stand-ins explores the uncanny essence of human relationships.

Family Romance, LLC Directed by Werner Herzog
This sensation of a spur-of-the-moment production makes what is before the camera feel all the more peculiar; the ungainly texture evokes an awkward, confrontative realness even if this may also be part of the film’s playful, coy presentation.
May 21, 2019
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The scenario, which comprises the main thread of this hybrid work of fiction and documentary, gets knottier. Its creepy feeling is ameliorated, and eventually replaced by, an empathetic fascination.
July 02, 2020
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Emotion slips out despite diligent attempts to master it, forcing even those who stand to gain the most from hyper-controlled environments to eventually face the shakiness of their own ground.
July 01, 2020
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