EL SEGUNDO HERALD July 16, 2020 Page 5
You Can Literally Choose Your Family, in
Werner Herzog’s Family Romance, LLC
By Morgan Rojas for cinemacy.com
Romance is a business in Herzog’s latest,
Family Romance, LLC. Inspired by the phenomenon
of renting actors to act as stand-ins
during important events in the lives of their
clients, the real-life Japanese company Family
Romance has capitalized on a very niche
market. “Family rentals” sound insane – because
they are – but Herzog humanizes this
need for connection and compassion. In one
scenario, a single mother rents a father, played
by Family Romance’s founder Yuichi Ishii, to
have an ongoing relationship with her preteen
daughter Mahiro (Mahiro Tanimoto). Mahiro
never met her real father, and this gives her
the opportunity to feel a father’s love, even if
it’s fabricated. The intention behind this rental
is sweet, but things become more unsettling
when actors are hired to play paparazzi for
a wannabe social media influencer looking
for fame, or a rail worker renting a stand-in
to accept a reprimanding lecture by his boss.
The whole thing is so bizarre but we can’t
A self-proclaimed return to “his filmmaking
as a young man,” Family Romance, LLC has
the aesthetic and authenticity of a documentary,
it shocked me to discover that this is actually
scripted. Leaning towards mumblecore, even.
We’re not getting any classic Herzog narration
here or spontaneous moments, although it may
feel like it, this film is pure fiction (although
the human for hire agency is, in fact, very
real). This directorial approach creates what
feels like a documentary/soap opera hybrid,
bringing up a mixture of emotions that range
from intrigue to uneasiness to fascination.
Family Romance is in the business of creating
illusions to make their clients’ lives better.
However, those lines become blurred when
real emotions start to develop, and “acting
the part” starts becoming more harmful than
helpful. By the end of the film, Herzog begs
the question: How much is “fake” sometimes
necessary for human survival?
Streaming on MUBI (now offering a 7-day
free trial at mubi.com)
Family Romance, LLC , courtesy of MUBI.
Happiness from page 3
run into someone with almost nothing who
seems downright happy? How can this be?
Ultimately, happiness is a choice we each
must make for ourselves. We have to choose to
be happy, with what we have or what we have
earned, and do what we enjoy. Happiness can
be learned, but it takes some discipline. Many
of us have to work at happiness. Fortunately,
there are things we can all do to wire our
brains for happiness.
Practice Gratitude. Perhaps the lynchpin to
happiness is practicing gratitude, be grateful for
what we have and not obsessed over what we
don’t have. Studies have shown that, on average,
those who routinely practice gratitude have
stronger immune systems, decreased amounts
of chronic pain, lower blood pressure, and are
generally happier than those who do not. How
we practice gratitude is largely a matter of
personal choice, but one way to get started is
to start a gratitude journal. Grab any notebook
or blank journal and develop the habit of writing
down what you are grateful for. Making a
point of writing at least one thing a day is a
great place to start. The simple act of writing
down your experiences or emotions can enrich
them and help your brain absorb it.
Focus on the present. Don’t stress over what
you haven’t accomplished. Accept yourself for
what you have experienced, good and bad. If
you have negative emotions around part of your
past, realize those experiences made you the
person you are today, so find ways to accept
who you are in the here and now.
Commit to meaningful goals. Everyone
responds to goals if they are meaningful and
achievable. This is true in workplaces, but they
are also meaningful in our personal lives. Setting
even small goals that are achievable within our
means, and then working to achieve them is
one way to move the needle toward happiness.
Develop meaningful social connections. This
is perhaps the easiest to achieve in the near
term, because of the prevalence of social media
to maintain relationships, and yet those same
media make it hard to keep relationships meaningful.
Take time to weed your social garden.
Yes, you want diversity in your social streams
to avoid living in an echo chamber but avoiding
those who are incessantly negative can also help
maintain a positive trend toward happiness.
Finally, take care of your mind, body, and
spirit. Focus on and maintain what you have,
not worrying about what you don’t. These are
key lessons from those happy people around
us. Let’s not lose sight of them by focusing
on what’s not there.
Lauren Mahakian is a certified Dementia
Practitioner and offers a free podcast,
Unlocking the Doors of Dementia™ with
Lauren. Visit familyconnectcare.com for
more information. •
Jamie Sanchez from front page
Police Reports from page 3
A vandalism report was taken at 1736
hours from the 300 block of Coral Circle. Unknown
suspect(s) wrote graffiti on a business.
An identity theft report was taken at 1837
hours from the 300 block of Main Street. Unknown
suspect(s) made fraudulent purchases
and applied for credit applications
A petty theft report was taken at 2215
hours from the 500 block of Indiana Street.
Unknown suspect(s) stole the victim’s bicycle
One female adult was arrested at 0415
hours from Maple Avenue and Maryland
Street for identity theft, possession of a
controlled substance and possession of drug
Thursday, July 9th
A petty theft report was taken at 1250
hours from the 500 block of North Pacific
A courtesy identity theft report was taken
at 1200 hours from the 1300 block of East
One female adult was arrested at 1724
hours from the 900 block of Center Street
for grand theft and possession of a controlled
One male adult was arrested at 1724 hours
from the 900 block of Center Street for
identity theft, grand theft, and possession of
a controlled substance.
A grand theft courtesy report was taken
at 1617 hours by LASD/Norwalk Station.
Unknown suspect(s) withdrew money from
the victim’s account.
A criminal threats report was taken at 2036
hours from the 300 block of Illinois Street.
Friday, July 10th
A stolen plate report was taken at 1110
hours from the 600 block of West Walnut
An online identity report was taken at 1156
hours from the 700 block of North Pacific
A traffic collision report (with injuries) was
taken at 1332 hours from the 800 block of
North Pacific Coast Highway.
A vandalism report was taken at 1302
hours from 2200 block of East Mariposa
Avenue. Unknown suspect(s) spray painted
the El Segundo Fire Department’s driveway.
A grand theft report was taken at 1642
hours from the 500 block of Hillcrest Street.
Taken was a catalytic converter from the
Saturday, July 11th
One male adult was detained at 0821
hours from the 800 block of Center Street
and transported to MLK medical center for
a 72 hour psychiatric evaluation.
A grand theft report was taken at 0940 hours
from the 500 block of East Imperial Avenue.
A burglary (residential) report was taken
at 1322 hours from the 400 block of Illinois
Street. Unknown suspect(s) stole the victim’s
A stolen plate report was taken at 1450
hours from the 700 block of Eucalyptus
Drive. The (rear) plate was stolen from the
A stolen vehicle was recovered at 0045
hours from the 1700 block of East Sycamore
Avenue. Recovered was 2012 Mercedes-Benz
ML350 reported stolen out of Gardena PD.
Sunday, July 12th
One male adult was arrested at 1714 hours
from Mariposa Avenue and Continental Boulevard
for throwing an object at a vehicle and
an outstanding misdemeanor warrant out of
Beverly Hills Police Department.
One male adult was arrested at 1928 hours
from the 800 block of North Pacific Coast
Highway for misdemeanor DUI with a BAC of
.08% or above and misdemeanor hit and run.
One male adult was arrested at 1913 hours
from the 800 block of North Pacific Coast
Highway for robbery. •
but as a southpaw hurler in major league
baseball.El Segundo High School athletic
director Steve Shevlin said that Sanchez’s
“impact with the students will always be
remembered” because he helped develop
many of the players who would populate
the Eagles’ tennis teams. One of the players
Shevlin remembers is Erin Sanchez,
Jamie’s older daughter, calling her “one of
the top female players to ever go through the
Bill Watkins, who has served the El
Segundo community in multiple positions
for decades, including a stint as the high
school tennis coach for more than a dozen
years that ended in 1979, called Jamie “an
outstanding coach and teacher who helped
many children and adults in El Segundo to
learn to love to play tennis. Jamie brought
his Loyola Marymount players to our courts
to play and help coach El Segundo children.”
Said Watkins: “Jamie’s knowledge and love
of the game is infectious, and our children
truly benefited from it.”
El Segundo resident Amy (Lavetich)
Lane played on the tennis team coached
by Sanchez at LMU in the mid-to-late 90’s,
then spent a year as a grad-assistant coaching
at the school as she was completing her
college course work, and also taught tennis
on the courts at Rec Park. She said
she became familiar with Sanchez because
her older sister, Lara, had played on the
women’s team guided by Sanchez.“Jaime
loves the game,” she said. “He is a nice
patient guy. Deeply knowledgeable. He has
become a great friend and a great friend to
Sanchez, who lives in town with wife
Tami Adkins, said he is still fired-up
about coaching. He said that returning to
coaching has “rekindled” his love of connecting
with college students, noting how
an effective coach on the collegiate level
can empower and motivate young adults,
building a foundation that instills “teamwork,
persistence, and the values that come from
participating in sports.”
Sanchez, an El Segundo resident for more
than four decades, who is on the board of
the El Segundo Girls’ Softball program, touts
the cities “close-knit, family atmosphere,”
as well as it “history (that is to be revered.
His daughter Gabriella, a student at Center
Street Elementary school, is like many local
athletes, eagerly awaiting youth sports
resumption in the city.
When not coaching or playing tennis,
Sanchez is a voracious reader, perusing
bookstores for interesting reading material,
and sharing his love of reading with daughter
Gabriella, and shepherding her to-and-from
her extracurricular activities.
Asked how long he plans to continue
coaching, Sanchez said he had a five-year
time-frame in mind when he took the
MCU job, attempting to establish a “good
foundation” for his successor, hoping to
dovetail academic standards with excellence
on the cement. Said a grateful
Sanchez: “I think every day that I get to do
exactly what I love to do.” Not a bad gig,