Is Haruka Ayase the Japanese version of Anne Hathaway? In everything from their perky public personas and sterling work ethic to their toothy smiles and flawless complexions, the two stars symbolize a type of good-girl perfection. And yet they also rub some imperfect types the wrong way, though Hathaway is the undoubted winner in the most-disliked-celebrity contest.

I swing back and forth about Ayase. For every film like Hirokazu Koreeda's "Our Little Sister" (2015), to which she brought a Setsuko Hara-like grace and poise, she makes others like "Galaxy Turnpike" (2015), "The Kodai Family" (2016) and now time-travel fantasy "Honnouji Hotel," playing heroines who are pure, cute and dim.

Based on an original script by Tomoko Aizawa and directed by Masayuki Suzuki, "Honnouji Hotel" is another local film that presents historical drama in the guise of "what if" fantasy. "Princess Toyotomi" (2011) — on which Aizawa and Suzuki also worked with Ayase — is another. That movie premised a "secret government" for the city of Osaka going back 400 years.