There’s a character in ‘Fine, Totally Fine’ who dreams of building the world’s scariest haunted house. An enticing prospect, no? Yet anyone wishing to see a film charting the exploits of this bedroom idealist will be disappointed. This laconic, artificially quirky debut from Japanese writer-director Fujita Yosuke settles for a rudimentary comic inspection of the dreary existence of a clutch of twentysomethings forced to reject their aspirations in order to face up to adult realities. There’s another character too, a beautiful, bashful girl whose innate clumsiness prevents her from securing work. All she wants to do is paint a mute homeless woman who lives in a colourful shack on the banks of a river.
For a cautionary film on the relative dangers of having your head in the clouds, the whimsical script and quasi-slapstick, sketchy direction suggest a filmmaker who is wary to practise what he preaches. And the omnipresent acoustic Musak on the soundtrack gives the whole thing a grating edge it could have done without.