There is a subgenre of Japanese movies that target women of a certain age, typically 30 or over. These films aren’t purely romantic dramas, though the search for Mr. Right figures in many. Rather, their main theme is self-exploration. Naoko Ogigami was once a leading purveyor of such films, beginning with her 2006 hit “Kamome Diner,” whose heroine found contentment running a Japanese-style eatery in Helsinki.
Now Mai Fukagawa has taken up this female-centered mantle with “Tsundol,” a likable if predictable drama about a woman who ticks her 29th birthday off the calendar and wonders if she still has a chance to find happiness.
Based on Akiko Oki’s autobiographical novel, the film has an unusual premise described in its lengthy Japanese title. Akiko (Fukagawa) finds herself without a job or boyfriend and only ¥100,000 in the bank. Instead of seeking temporary refuge with her parents — the default solution to this problem in Japanese films — she moves in with a 56-year-old male stranger (Arata Iura) at a friend’s introduction. The rent, she reasons, is affordable.