Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on October 2010

©2010 Dream On Productions

I don’t usually feature Japanese films here, but occasionally one comes along like this delight by writer/director/producer Atsushi Ogata that is subtitled in English and charming enough to warrant a look. It’s about a perpetual supporting actor (Toru Matsuoka) whose current role is a uniformed patrolman in a terebi cop opera. The only thing he’s worse at than landing leading roles is meeting women. Plus he lives in the shadow of his father (Masakiko Tsugawa), a famous playwright. But he’s got a good heart and compulsively helps strangers at every opportunity. Unfortunately, this often leads to his being mistaken for other people. His life is turned around when he meets an aspiring actress (Hiromi Nagasaku) who doesn’t mistake him for anyone else and is attracted by his kind nature. He falls in love. At the same time, he has a shot at the lead in a Woody Allen remake. All he has to do to clinch the role is compromise who he is just a bit. This movie made me want to be kinder to people. OK, I made that up. But go see it.