The Mars Canon (2002)

Genres - Romance  |   Run Time - 121 min.  |   Countries - Japan   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Tokyo residents Kinuko (Makiko Kuno) and Kohei (Fumiyo Kohinata) appear to be in love as they spend an idyllic afternoon in a park. But when they part, there's tension, and Kinuko mentions their "rules." It turns out that Kohei is married to another woman, and has a young daughter. He can only see Kinuko one evening a week, on Tuesdays. One evening while waiting to meet him, Kinuko runs into a former co-worker, Hijiri (Mami Nakamura), who is out of work and crashing with her friend, Manabe (Kee), whom she jokingly introduces to Kinuko as "Manabe the fraud." Manabe makes his living on the street, selling fortunes written out in calligraphy. He's always chasing women, and he's immediately attracted to Kinuko. The three begin to socialize, and when Hijiri finds out that Kinuko is involved with a married man, she's very disapproving. As Kinuko wakes up to the realization that Kohei won't leave his wife, she leans on Hijiri for support. Even when Kinuko is rude to Hijiri, and abandons her to be with Kohei, Hijiri is still there for her. Eventually, Hijiri confesses to Kinuko that she's motivated not just by friendship, but also by romantic love. Kinuko rejects her, but Hijiri continues to try to win her affection. The Mars Canon, a melancholy romantic comedy, is director Shiori Kazama's third feature. It was shown at the New Directors/New Films Festival in New York in 2002.