Fine, Totally Fine (3 stars)

Fine, Totally Fine

Less character-driven than character trait-driven, Yosuke Fujita’s film follows three youngish incompetents as they try to make the best of their lives, all played charmingly by well-known young Japanese actors. There is Yosiyosi Arakawa’s Teruo, the son of a second-hand bookshop owner who is constantly looking for ways to scare people with horror tricks; his shy and sensitive best friend Hisanobu (Okada); and Akari (Yoshino Kimura), a woman so maladroit, she drops a camera when a couple ask her to take a picture of them, and breaks a finger pressing an elevator button. Like many a slacker film it revolves mainly around the one location: the bookshop that belongs to Teruo’s dad, a hangout venue reminiscent of the convenience store in Clerks (or for hardcore US indie film fans, the video shop in Good Dick) and that here shelters the characters’ sensitive souls. This is a light yet hardly meaningless comedy of compassion. Minimal extras.

(15) 110min (Third Window Films DVD retail)

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