Sad Tea / サッドティー
Rikiya Imaizumi (I Catch a Terrible Cat) once again scores with a subtle and funny comedy about the love lives of twenty-somethings. The film proceeds across a series of vignettes in a La Ronde-like fashion, showing the pairings and unpairings of a bunch of young Tokyo-ites. The sometimes cruel nonchalance and imagined high seriousness of their relationships are given clever and honest workouts by a great group of actors. A particularly delicious scene involves the openly two-timing Shin (Seiji Okabe) trying to break up with one of his girlfriends, Midori, only to have the tables turned when she refuses. He comes back to his other girlfriend, Yuko, only to have her initiate their breakup. Imaizumi’s delicate direction brings out the best in his actors. If there’s any fault in Sad Tea, it’s the weak ending. A gathering of all the characters attempts to make the big statement and wrap all the loose ends up. It seems that Imaizumi dug himself too big a hole to fill it all in. Until then, it’s a great ride.
Originally published in EL Magazine, June 2014