This film is about two great lines Hiroshe Abe delivers: "it's not easy to become the man you wanted to be" and "What matters is to live my life trying to become what I want to be." There are a few other insightful lines, and a few wonderfully captured scenes--something to be expected from actors like Abe and Kirin Kiki. Kiki especially in her scenes with Abe's ex. There's awkward tension with Abe and his ex when he makes a move and she responds "Your mom is right there" instead of "Don't touch me you loser". But the rest of the film is boring, directionless, and sports an Andy of Mayberry soundtrack which conjures that Flying Nun chick gushing "You like me". Koreeda appears to be coasting on this one, standing around with his hands in his pockets, whistling.
Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) is an unpopular writer although he won a literary award 15 years ago. Now, Ryota works as a private detective. He is divorced from his ex-wife Kyoko (Yoko Maki) and he has an 11-years-old son Shingo (Taiyo Yoshizawa). His mother Yoshiko (Kirin Kiki) lives alone at her apartment. One day, Ryota, his ex-wife Kyoko, and son Shingo gather at Yoshiko's apartment. A typhoon passes and the family must stay there all night long.