Her Father, My Lover

This soap opera-like yarn addresses a serious corner of Japanese romance

Inter-generational romances are hardly unusual in Japan, but this pic by TV commercial director Kenji Yamauchi goes one step further and has Maya (Wako Ando) getting involved with Kyosuke (Mitsuru Fukikoshi), the father of her close high school friend Taeko (Yukino Kishii).

The heart of the story is Maya, who disregards the disgust of those around her (particularly Taeko) and pursues the older man relentlessly. In fact, she’s already had an affair with her high school teacher Tadokoro (Takenori Kaneko), a pathetic whiner who will prove her undoing. This soap opera-like yarn also has Kyosuke in an affair with another woman, who is carrying his baby, and in the middle of a divorce from Taeko’s mother Midori (Kei Ishibashi).

Making its World Premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival in October, it’s funny, dramatic, corny, and melodramatic in turns. In short, this piece is unsure what it wants to be. At first blush a romantic comedy, it heads off in all directions, leaving the audience a bit confused. Despite that, it’s well acted, mostly realistic, and addresses a serious corner of Japanese romance. Worth a view. Japanese title: Tomodachi no Papa ga Suki. (105 min.)