‘Japanese movies are too long” is a comment I’ve heard many times over the years. In fact, one Asian film reviewer of my acquaintance writes “(J-film title) could be cut by (number of minutes)” so often that he’s probably made it into a keyboard shortcut.
Japanese directors have also turned in some excellent long films, however, from Akira Kurosawa’s “Shichinin no Samurai” (“Seven Samurai,” 207 minutes) to Sion Sono’s “Ai no Mukidashi” (“Love Exposure,” 237 minutes). Even so, I quailed when I saw the running time of “Happy Hour,” Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s female friendship drama: 317 minutes. That is a long sit by any standard.