This oddball Japanese comedy suffers from a serious – possibly terminal – case of quirkiness. Mitsuko (Riisa Naka) is pregnant and back in Tokyo after being dumped by her American boyfriend. She can’t face her parents so she pretends to be in California while hiding out in a bedsit. For a woman with this much on her plate, Mitsuko is irrepressibly or, depending on your tolerance, irritatingly, upbeat. When she runs out of money, she hails a cab, points to the sky, and instructs the driver to ‘follow that cloud’.
Where that cloud takes her – conveniently – is the rundown neighbourhood where her family lived during the ’90s recession. This is a place where a man might sleep with his neighbour’s wife, the cheeky so -and-so, but he’d also give him his last crust of bread. There’s material in spades here for sharp social satire, but 28-year-old director Yûya Ishii soldiers on with his brand of try-hard hairbrained giddiness. The acting is at times unwatchably broad, ultimately squeezing the life and charm out of the whole enterprise.
Cast and crew