-waves- Hi all! Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm glad that I'm posting here for some minor wtf, instead of some really bad_service. I think this was much more hilarious and confusion when it happened, kind of a you had to be there thing, but I'm posting it here anyway 'cause it was just so odd.
She was looking at movie times off of MSN, at movies.msn.com. Later that night I got online to look it up for myself. Though I didn't think to post this yesterday, you can see today's showtimes for the theater I went to here. Yesterday it was listed as "Happy-Go-Lucky (Natsu Jikan no Otonatachi)," but today it is listed as simply "Natsu Jikan no Otonatachi" (which is even more misleading as there is now no indication of another title). I clicked on the title to see if there was a synopsis, and yay, there was (which you can view here)! After I saw that the director was Nakashima Tetsuya (a director I quite like, and I've even gotten mum to watch Kamikaze Girls), we decided that my parents and brother would come to visit me the next day (yesterday, Sunday) and we would all go to the movies together. My mother had originally seen the listing for a theater near where she lives (San Jacinto, CA), but luckily the same film was playing at The Block here in Orange, CA. From San Jacinto to where I stay with my grandmother, it's about a 75 mile drive one way, so it was a pretty big deal to come this far just to see a movie.
Sunday came and I met them at the movie theater at about 1:30 PM for the 1:55 PM showing. We bought our tickets with no problem, using the English title as was listed at the box office (but yesterday, the listing made it seem as if this was just the English title that had been assigned to the movie, and we didn't think it was weird). We got some popcorn, sat down in our theater, and all was well.
....Until the movie started. Expecting a film focused on a group of fourth graders in Japan, we were quite surprised (and confused) to see an opening scene of a woman riding a bike through London. When she first spoke, it was confirmed. Yep, this is an entirely different film.
We stayed, because for the first five minutes we were laughing about the odd mix up, and spent the rest of the movie trying to figure out wtf the film was about. My dad was a bit annoyed at driving 150 miles (round trip) to see this movie that had nothing to do with me being a Japan geek, but overall the night turned out okay.
Today, I'm just confused. They've taken off the English title completely, leaving it with just the Japanese title. I've poked around the interwebz a bit and Happy-Go-Lucky is, indeed, the film we saw (although at the time we weren't sure as I don't recall ever seeing a title at the beginning of the film). I'm just confused as to how and why these two films got mixed up. I looked everything up under the Japansee title, and so didn't even realize before going that there was a British film called Happy-Go-Lucky; though I probably should've googled that as well before going, I didn't really see any reason to at the time.
Another thing that makes me laugh is that on the movie's synopsis page, it's the Japanese film's synopsis, but there's what I now know to be the English film's poster (though it's too tiny to read anything except the title, and when you hover over the image, it reads the Japanese title).
I looked at a few other movie sites and none of them list it with the Japanese title (so this is, apparently, definitely just a mistake on MSN's part), though MSN's site uses it for many theaters. I can't help but wonder how many people went to go see a Japanese film yesterday after using MSN's movie site. Out of the grand total of 9 in our theater, at least two other people did, as they left shortly after the initial confusion and realizing that there was a mistake.
I e-mailed the site about it letting them know, because while my family ends up having a good time pretty much no matter what, it would kind of suck if a lot of other people had this same issue. And I still want to see the Japanese movie. D:
Update! Wow, I'm scatterbrained. I almost forgot that I sent in a question to MSN movies about this, and was wondering what a reply from them was doing in my inbox. Inside I found this gem of a reply:
Thank you for contacting MSN Entertainment Technical Support. My name is Abhijit.
I understand that your experience with MSN webpage was not so good.
Tiffany, we continuously strive to make MSN better and take all feedback, positive and negative, very seriously.
We welcome your additional suggestions and comments at the following link
I will now demand that my birthday cake reads Happy Birthday Tiffany from now until the end of time. Or, you know, until I bite the dust, whichever comes first.
My night is pretty much complete. :]
tl;dr: My family goes out to see a Japanese film, only to end up watching a quite random British film due to a website mix up. Website e-mails me back, and invites Tiffany to leave further feedback if she so desires.