Extraordinary beautiful 17 years old high school girl Rio (Nozomi Sasaki) possesses the charisma to attract others, and she is always in the company of Miho (Araki Nanaki) and Maki (Mitsuki Oishi). At one stage she saved Tomoko (Hikaru Yamamoto) from her bully, Naoko (Saki Kagami) and later joins her group.
Rio is good at manipulating her friends and makes herself in the center of attention and always ignores others due to her traumatic past. Money is the most valuable thing for her. Everything changes when she meets a history professor, Kouki Ozawa (Shosuke Tanihara) who is 35 years old and leading a lonely life.
Kouki is Rio’s first love where she dares to express her love to him openly and honestly. Kouki is also interested with Rio but since he is suffering from brain tumor and is counting his final days, Rio finds it hard to accept the reality. Will Rio continues her mean and selfish ways to reject Kouki or decides to stick with Kouki until his final days?
Production Company: GAGA Corporation
Director: Yuri Kanchiku
Starring: Nozomi Sasaki, Shosuke Tanihara, Hikaru Yamamoto, Mitsuki Oishi, Araki Nanaki, Saki Kagami, Motoki Fukami, Wakana Sakai, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Mayumi Wakamura, Kanji Tsuda
Date of release: 7th November, 2009
Bottom Line: A romance as pretty and immaterial as a swirl of bubbles.
TOKYO -- Yuri Kanchiku's directorial debut "My Rainy Days" dallies with social phenomena highly publicized in Japan: the Lolita complex and teenage prostitution. Yet it is neither controversial nor serious. With a cast that belongs on the cat walk rather than ordinary life and every frame exquisitely designed to look like a fashion magazine advertorial, the film -- about a romance between a wayward high school girl and a bookish college professor -- is as sweet and sparkling as a Bellini cocktail, and just as light and frivolous.
Although the film under-performed domestically with around $2 million in ticket sales, it is marketable in Asia as a hip date movie and fashion Bible. Taiwan and Hong Kong, among others, have secured rights. Western potential stays within male Asianphile circles.
Rio (Nozomi Sasaki) a dishy 17-year-old with a traumatic past, presides over a school prostitution ring. Rio meets history professor Kouki (Shousuke Tanihara) through an incident of mistakenly swapped photos. It rains on their first rendezvous, giving her an excuse to get under his umbrella and eventually into his heart.
The exploits of Rio and her gang of glamorously dressed nymphets consist less of sexual hijinks than a whirlwind tour of Tokyo's classiest shopping, dining and clubbing hotspots. Trendy art direction, racy editing and a youthful J-pop score imbue the girls' goings-on with sugar daddies and pimps with an air of artificiality that downplays the sleaziness of the situations.
The love relationship draws on the stuff of Korean TV soaps -- brain tumors (revealed at the opening) and amnesia. It is topped with more novel improbabilities such as Rio's overnight renouncement of her decadent lifestyle in favor of extra homework and field trips with Kouki. Nevertheless, in execution, the film avoids conventional tearjerking pitfalls with some unexpected narrative turns. It underplays Kouki's morbid adult problems, and highlights Rio's youth and the fearlessness it brings, giving the film its upbeat tone and some poetic license.
Newcomer-idol Sasaki has the face of a porcelain doll and the body language of a giselle. She has yet to gain her acting chops, but her value in the film is to be a charismatic, slightly unreachable presence. This she effortlessly delivers. Tanihara's character is more grounded, but he moderates it with flashes of daft humor.
Twenty-seven-year-old Kanchiku proves she is still young enough to capture pubescent sexuality and the mind-sets and mannerisms of the new generation without being patronizing or judgemental. Moreover, her direction reveals maturity and assurance, especially her ability to make scenes of dissonant moods segue fluidly into each other.
Venue: Tokyo International Film Festival