Sawako (Hikari Mitsushima) has been living in Tokyo for five years. She has a part time job at a toy company as an assistant, mostly making tea but doing any other slightly unpleasant menial tasks her petulant boss decides to throw her. She has a quite useless boyfriend who once worked at the toy company as a designer but has resigned (or was asked to leave following a total flop of his newest toy with a toddler focus group) in order to lead an ‘eco life’. His main hobbies appear to be knitting and recycling. A divorcée he has a daughter who he looks after, but isn’t terribly interested in and keeps referring to Sawako as her ‘new mother’.  Into this fairly dismal life is thrown the bombshell that Sawako’s father is seriously ill in hospital and it’s thought she ought to return home. Despite her protestations that she hasn’t been home for five years for a good reason and has no intention of going now, the boyfriend somehow convinces her to go as part of a naive plan to live on the land in an ‘eco’ way. As it turns out there are a few good reasons Sawako didn’t want to go home, it seems she’s none too popular there. Eventually ending up running her father’s clam packing business in his stead, these are the problems she will have to overcome if she’s to lead a more satisfying life.

Sawako Decides (kawa no soko kara konichiwa) is a decidedly bittersweet comedy about learning to accept yourself for what you are and doing your best with it. The humour is quirky and off the wall as might be expected, but mostly very true to life and the film is very funny. Unlike a most light comedies this one manages to be quite emotionally engaging and the audience quickly empathises with Sawako and her situation and is eager to see her move away from her disappointment. It’s a very charming film with an usual message delivered in an usual way, well worth looking at.



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