Three misfits occupy themselves with their various obsessions before romance rears its divisive head in the amiable, generally low-key Japanese comedy “Fine, Totally Fine.” Playing like a stoner comedy without the drugs, Yosuke Fujita’s film is likely to create broad smiles and occasional belly laughs as it drifts through the festival circuit. Pic is scheduled for local release this month.
A socially awkward Tokyo bookshop clerk, Teruo (YosiYosi Arakawa, amusingly rambunctious) has ambitions to build his own fully functional haunted house; in the meantime, he gets his jollies by videotaping scary practical jokes on innocent bystanders. His best buddy, hospital administrator Hisanobu (Yoshinori Okada), helps him out, but when both fall for accident-prone artist Akari (Yoshino Kimura), the pair’s friendship is threatened. Despite winning a prize for his Super 8 feature “A Terrible Tiger” at the 1987 Turin Film Festival, helmer is best known for his legit work in Japan. Workmanlike direction focuses largely on the comical thesps, while the ambling narrative is buoyed by jaunty “Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday”-like music from Mai Ekomo. Technically, film is a cut above usual Japanese indie fare.