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Film / Like Father, Like Son

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Ryota (Masaharu Fukuyama) is a successful Tokyo architect who works long hours to provide for his wife, Midori (Machiko Ono) and six-year-old son, Keita. But when a blood test reveals Keita and another baby were switched at birth, two very different families are thrown together and forced to make a difficult decision while Ryota confronts his own issues of responsibility and what it means to be a father. Like Father, Like Son extends the Japanese cinema tradition of familial exploration to deliver a gentle and moving story of personal redemption that playfully navigates its way through the drama.

(Not to be confused with a same-titled movie, about a "Freaky Friday" Flip starring Dudley Moore and Kirk Cameron.)


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Tropes:

  • Adult Fear:
    • The idea of finding out one day that the child you've been raising isn't biologically yours.
    • Your child running away from home.
  • Central Theme: Is family defined by blood or by bonds?
  • Family of Choice: One of the driving questions in the story is seeing if family can be one through blood or bonds.
  • Foil: The parents, Yukari/Yudai and Ryota/Midori. The latter are wealthy but are new when it comes to parenting, while the former lack money but are experiences parents (having two other kids).
  • For Want of a Nail: The whole story wouldn't have even happened if the nurse in charge of infants Keita and Ryusei hadn't had switch their ID tags out of spite for her own family troubles.
  • Good Parents: Keita's biological parents, Yukari and Yudai Saiki may lack money, but have a better understanding of the importance of child and parent bonds than Ryota and Midori do, especially the former.
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  • Green-Eyed Monster: After Keita compliments Yudai (his biological father) on how he was able to fix his toy truck, Ryota is very annoyed.
  • Moment Killer: During one of the time the parents go out, they are having a wonderful moment...up until Ryota states that he'll being taking custody over Keita and Ryusei. Midori later calls him out for this.
  • Multigenerational Household: In Yukari and Yudai's household. Besides them and their three kids, the maternal grandfather also lives with them.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Despite being new to parenting, Midori is a kind mother to Keita (and later Ryusei), and is an overall nice person.
    • Yudai is a sweet and benevolent man who also doubles as being a Friend to All Children.
  • No Antagonist: Neither of the parents are people bent on getting their biological child for less than good reasons. And while Ryota may be the biggest jerkass of all of them he does have his redeeming qualities and became a better person.
  • Parents as People: Ryota and Midori mean well and do love their son, but they don't really have the understanding on how to raise a child, since Keita is their first and only child. Their interactions with Yukari and Yudai help them.
  • The Perfectionist: Ryota wants the perfect job and his son to be the best at everything.
  • Pet the Dog: When Ryota goes to confront the nurse who switched Keita and Ryusei, her stepson comes to her defense. Despite Ryota's justified anger at the woman, he just gives the stepson a respectful pat on the shoulder, and leaves without a word.
  • Race for Your Love: A platonic example — Rytoa chases after Keita after the latter runs away upon seeing him and after the running is over, Ryota apologizes for his actions.
  • The Runaway: Ryusei (Ryota and Midori's biological son) runs away from their home after missing his adoptive parents.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Ryota becomes a more nicer person and better father through the whole emotional journey, and apologizing to Keita for many of the harsh things he said over the movie.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Midori tells off Ryota for how much of a jerk he's been, especially to Keita.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Subverted. But at different times some had implied that Midori and Yukair cheated on their husbands.
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