In the late 1980s, Japanese media ran a flurry of reports on an alarming shortage of brides in the country's rural areas. Unable to find potential partners at home, bachelors in farming villages were searching for wives in mainland Asia — sometimes with support from their local governments, and often with significant sums changing hands.

There's a lot that can go wrong with bride buying — an ethically queasy enterprise at the best of times — and in "Come On Irene," most of it does. Adapted by director Keisuke Yoshida from Hideki Arai's 1990s manga series, the film follows the exploits of a 42-year-old pachinko worker who lives with his senile father and overbearing mother in a dilapidated rustic backwater.

Iwao (Ken Yasuda) isn't much of a catch, unless you consider an awkward demeanor and voracious porn habit to be positive traits, which might explain why he's reached middle age without ever having a proper relationship. So when his attempts to hook up with a single mother end in disappointment — and prompt a furious argument with his parents — he storms off to the Philippines and returns with a young bride.