Yoshihiro Mori’s first feature, “We Couldn't Become Adults,” is soaked in nostalgia for 1990s Tokyo.

The film meticulously revives not only the fashion, music and gadgets of that period — remember pagers? — but also its landmarks, including the then-new Tower Records in Shibuya and then-ultra-trendy Laforet department store in Harajuku. An in-demand director of music videos and TV commercials, Mori has filmed this story in a slick travel-magazine style — Tokyo has rarely looked so clean and uncluttered on screen — while keeping the emotions grounded in reality.

It is not, however, an updated version of Takashi Yamazaki’s “Always” trilogy (2005-12), which shamelessly sentimentalizes post-war Tokyo. Based on a 2016 novel by a former TV staffer who writes under the pen name Moegara, “We Couldn't Become Adults” centers on a middle-aged man’s look back at his past loves and lost dreams, framed by his thankless labors at the margins of show business. The protagonist may be a product of his time and place, but his situation has a bittersweet universality, though it may help to be a man of a certain age to deeply relate to it.