Shingo Matsumura’s Love and Goodbye and Hawaii is a rare gem, an off-beat light comedy about young people that is neither cute nor contrived, founded in a reality unadorned by screenwriterly gimmicks. Rinko (Aya Ayano), a young woman a few years out of college, lives with her ex-boyfriend/best friend Isamu (Kentaro Tamura). Despite the fact that they’ve been broken up for six months, they seem to have no interest in changing living arrangements, happy in their easy rapport and comfortable routine. But when her friends learn what’s going on, and at the same time another woman shows interest in Isamu, Rinko must choose whether to move on or try to rekindle their romance. Matsumura follows Rinko as she talks to friends, prepares for a long-awaited trip to Hawaii for a wedding, and fruitlessly searches for another place to live; his film is as small and lovely as real life, building out from not much more than the quiet moments, minor epiphanies, and bleak sweetness of being young and free in the city.
Published as part of Japan Cuts 2017.