Love My Life

Photo: Love My Life

Directed by Koji Kawano and starring Rei Yoshii and Asami Imajuku, the movie is a cute, indie-rock-infused coming-of-age tale about a university student and her first girlfriend. At once refreshingly honest and incredibly upbeat, it manages to avoid the pitfalls of most lesbian films and proves to be a successful adaptation of the manga on which it’s based.

The film opens on 20-somethings Eri (Imajuku) and Ichiko (Yoshii) in bed together, making out and discussing whether Ichiko should tell her father about their relationship. Fearful of his reaction but perpetually chipper, Ichiko goes ahead and introduces Eri to her free-spirited writer father.

Watch It Here With English Subtitles:

Love My Life from Wolfe Video on Vimeo.

While this would normally be the culmination of a film (or at least a major plot point), the scene is low-key and comfortable. Ichiko’s father accepts Eri right away, even joking that she reminds him of Ichiko’s late mother. It’s refreshing — especially considering the homophobic reaction our heroine (along with the audience) was expecting — and it sets the tone for the rest of the film.

Warning: Spoilers

For the better part of the movie, we follow Ichiko through her adventures in love and life: taking classes at the university, cavorting with Eri, and working at a trendy little record store. Scattered throughout the fun, chaotic meanderings of her life are serious conversations about what it means to be gay in modern Japan, from coming out to finding a place in the fabric of society.

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