Tokyo Marigold (2001)

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Recalling both Yasujiro Ozu and Eric Rohmer, Jun Ichikawa directs this quiet, understated tale about one woman's attempts at braving the rapids of romance. Following a breakup with her boyfriend, Eriko (Rena Tanaka) feels like her life is adrift. In the film's outset, Eriko is meandering from one trendy corner or Tokyo to another with little ability to connect with her surroundings. In spite of her new job at a foreign car dealership or conversations with her vivacious mother (Kirin Kiki) -- who not only sculpts but makes a killer bowl of noodles -- Eriko can't escape the feeling of a yawning gap in her life. Then one day, she meets a rumpled salaryman named Tamura (Yukiyoshi Ozawa) and she's hooked. Yet when they go out later on a date, he tells her that his longtime girlfriend is studying in the States. In spite of this, their mutual attraction remains and soon Eriko makes a rash offer to Tamura -- that he move in with her until his girlfriend returns. He agrees and for a while Eriko is utterly happy. But when some of the charm of this would-be Mr. Right wears off, Eriko seems him in a much more negative light.