|Fune o oritara kanojo no shima 2003 Japan Her Island, My Island|
For the sentimental nostalgic types the story might be a compelling one. Kuriko (Yoshino Kimura) grew up on the island but left for Tokyo as soon as she graduated high school. At twenty-five she's about to get married and returns to the island for the first time in two years to soak in and remember all that was wonderful about it before finally leaving it fully behind. Something I found a little strange is that her father doesn't recognize her when she shows up. It had only been two years since her last visit and her father is not losing his mind or anything. I think this bit of non-recognition is meant to be metaphorical, emphasizing the fact that Koriko is now a city girl more than an island girl.
Kimura plays the part well and there are a number of attempts in the script to create an emotional connection with the viewer but most of them come up short. Kuriko's father's character is the typical silent type so communication is difficult. Her mom is efficient and cheerful. There's a burly fisherman who still has a crush on Kuriko who Kuriko uses to take her to find her long lost friend whom she bonded deeply with as a teenager. He turns up dead. We've seen all these tropes before.
Finally, the english subtitles leave a lot to be desired, making things difficult to follow at times.
Summary: Kuriko (Yoshino Kimura), is a 25-year-old woman who left her native island after graduating from high school and never looked back. Working at a publishing company in Tokyo, she is living her dream of independent life in the big city, but is still an island girl at heart. When she falls in love with a shaggy-haired photographer and decides to marry him, she returns home for the first time in two years to tell her father (Ren Osugi). (Mom, played with tireless good cheer by Naoko Otani, is not really in the equation.)
A retired elementary school principal, Dad is busy transforming his old school into a bed-and-breakfast when Kuriko pays the surprise visit. He barely recognizes her and she cannot bring herself to break the big news. It's not that he is so intimidating. Though sparing with his words -- that de rigeur trait for a Japanese movie father -- he's too mild-mannered to pose a threat to her plans. In fact, he finds himself at a loss with Kuriko, who still wants to lean on him, but is now a grown woman with a mind of her own.
She, on the other hand, needs to get in touch with the girl she once was before she leaves her behind forever. Her marriage announcement can wait. Instead she visits people from her past, including a favorite aunt and uncle, who fawn over her and bicker with each other, and Kenta (Shoei), a former classmate who is now a big, brawny, simple-hearted fisherman -- and still can't get over Kuriko, his playmate when they were kids.