“A young man can do nothing without fire in his eyes.”
YosiYosi Arakawa impresses the audience as he takes on his lead role as Teruo. He is a full time part time tree trimmer on the park and nearly 30 he still hasn’t accomplished anything substantial in his life. Teruo is the son of a second-hand bookstore owner, where he occasionally offers to help out. He has a dream of creating the world’s scariest haunted house and he is always testing out his homemade gory devices on his friends and family to see how they react.
Hisanobu (Yoshinori Okada) his agreeable childhood best friend is a clean-cut guy who works as a hospital administrator. However, he finds Teruo’s pranks outrageous.
Akari (Yoshino Kimura), a very clumsy and accident-prone yet talented artist comes to work in the bookstore. Teruo starts developing feeling for her. However his best friend Hisanobu also finds himself attracted to this beautiful yet shy Akari. Soon, both men fall in love with her and rival to win her love and affection.
Fine Totally Fine, has some great moments of comedy. The characters are not the typical characters we see in romantic comedy but they work well together. The story unfolds in a bookstore and yet it is heart warming and easy-going.
The beginning of the film is slow paced and irritable; however as the plot progresses it engages the audience. Some scenes that are meant to be humorous can sometimes leave you cringing, but with an open mind, it is enjoyable to watch.
Fine Totally Fine is somewhat strange to watch but the film does grow on you. Also, watching with the subtitles on the screen can sometimes be distracting but after a while you see it as part of the movie.
The director Yosuke Fujita creates a very natural feel about Fine Totally Fine. Yoshino Kimura as the very clumsy Akari is fit for her character, whilst Yoshinori Okada’s performance as Hisanobu puts across the great sense of life in his character. Arakawa’s easy-going yet annoyed-looking face makes him a natural for comedy.
Fine Totally Fine was one of 2008’s most anticipated Japanese films and when audience are able to put aside their typical rom-com genre expectation, this fine quirky comedy is entertaining to watch.
Directed by Yosuke Fujita
Running Time: 110 Minutes
Language: Japanese (with English subtitles)