Review: ‘My Rainy Days’

Can a schoolgirl give up bullying and prostitution for the love of a 35-year-old teacher?

Japanese meller “My Rainy Days” poses the question: Can a schoolgirl give up bullying and prostitution for the love of a 35-year-old teacher? Based on a cell-phone novel, this feature bow by Yuri Kanchiku, a protege of Shunji Iwai (“Love Letter,” “All About Lily Chou-Chou”), is set for wide release locally Nov. 7. Young Nipponese distaffers, who made last year’s cell novel adaptation, “Threads of Destiny,” a B.O. smash, should have a strong yen to find the answer to the central dilemma; international auds, less so.

When a photo kiosk mixes up snapshots belonging to 17-year-old schoolgirl Rio Ozawa (Nozomi Sasaki) with those of suave but suicidal history teacher Kouki Ozawa (Shosuke Tanihara), the teacher’s good looks move the decadent teen to epiphany. Rio becomes Kouki’s loyal private student and ditches her sugar daddy, a lesbian lover, and also her extortion and hooker gigs. Even within a Japanese context, the yarn is barely believable; but Kanchiku’s helming is topnotch, lending the script far more conviction than it deserves. Male model Tanihara, good in the comedy “Handsome Suit,” broadens his resume with a solid dramatic performance. Tech package is pro.

My Rainy Days

Japan

Production

A Gaga Corp. presentation of a My Rainy Days Film Partners production. (International sales: Gaga, Tokyo.) Produced by Yasushi Umemura. Executive producer, Michihiko Umezawa. Directed, written by Yuri Kanchiku, from the novel by Sin.

Crew

Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Shinichi Tsunoda; music, Indigo Blue, Zentaro Watanabe; production designer, Nori Fukuda. Reviewed at Tokyo Film Festival (Special Screening), Oct. 19, 2009. Original title: Tenshi no koi. Running time: 119 MIN.

With

Nozomi Sasaki, Shosuke Tanihara, Hikaru Yamamoto, Mitsuki Oishi, Nanaka, Saki Kagami, Motoki Fukami, Wakana Sakai.
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