One Week Friends (2017)

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One Week Friends

Director: Murakami Shosuke

Starring: Haruna Kawaguchi, Kento Yamazaki, Shuhei Uesugi, Seika Furuhata

High school student Hase (Yamazaki) becomes interested in classmate Kaori Fujimiya (Kawaguchi) despite an awful first impression. Asking to start as friends she surprising and without mercy rejects his offer giving no reason. Learning that she has refused friendship to everyone else in the school, he discovers that she has a neurological condition from a past trauma that has her unable to remember her personal relationships with people once she falls asleep on Sunday evenings. Not to be deterred, Hase resolves to be Fujimiya’s first high school friend and proposes that they begin to exchange diaries where he catalogues his experiences with her during the week and she enters her thoughts over the weekend. As the friendship deepens, faces from the past appear which have a connection to Kaori’s past trauma, threatening everything that Hase and Fujimiya have built.

An extremely popular manga and anime series, One Week Friends comes to the big screen with two of the hottest young talents in Japan and director Murakami Shosuke. One of the more anticipated youth romance films of this past year, One Week Friends ended up a fairly big hit thanks to the wide appeal by Yamazaki and Kawaguchi. Covering a fairly touching story, One Week Friends prides itself on its sentimentality and carefully crafted emotion ties. From Yamazaki’s endearingly dorky Hase, totally at odds with his ‘super cool’ image in real life, to Kawaguchi’s stunning doe-eyed beauty, the film has a lot of good natured sentiment and will going for it.

A fairly moderately paced film, it moves at an expected clip falling into a number of youth drama and manga trappings. Everything is super choreographed and hardly surprising, but the likable performances and delicate reveals make it worth the watch. Despite how predictable the film is, it remains a warm and solid entry in Japan’s large ‘pure love’ genre of film. While not a must see film by any stretch, it does enough right and in good measure for an easily earned ‘Recommended’ from this particular reviewer.

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Long time film lover and occasional writer. I watch anything and everything though I have massive love for the works of Shunji Iwai, Jackie Chan, Johnnie To, and Kinji Fukasaku. POP! POP!

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