Lost in Translation

Rating = B+

The no-longer-young man and the young woman are both unhappy with their own lives and alone in a foreign city and culture. They both are watching life go by (and a little amused by what they see) rather pushing for whatever they want next as everyone around them seems to be doing. They spot each other, make a connection, actually talk with each other a little bit about their respective situations and enjoy each other's company (which is not happening with their own spouses — he gives her some attention she needs), and feel a romantic attraction.

[Skip the rest of this paragraph if you don't want to know the ending; although, the story is not the main point of this film — the characters and their interactions are.] However, he feels a little protective of her in a fatherly way, and somehow her time with him helps her with her self-examination. They avoid a coupling (short term or long term) that would not be a useful step forward for either of them. Instead they part knowing they tasted something special again during their few days together and more ready to sort out the problems in their lives.

Scenes of Tokyo pervade the film and made me want to go there again immediately. I was not put off by the way the movie poked fun at the Japanese; it is hard to do otherwise in a film about being at sea in a different culture, and I suspect some of Japanese movies make just as much fun of our cultural foibles.

The film is so nicely done, I wanted to rate it an A-. But, somehow it wasn't quite substantive enough.