So many people still get hung up by May/December affairs or middle-aged men dating twenty year olds, or women twice as old as the men they marry. In the realm of love, age does not matter unless those in these relationships choose to let it cause trouble. The same goes for interracial or inter-religious couples. Diversity is a good thing.
Akiko (Rin Takanashi) is sitting in a bar talking on a cell phone. She works for a Japanese escort service in order to cover her college expenses. When she asks for the night off to meet her grandmother who is coming to town, her pimp (Denden) insists that Akiko go to an appointment with a client who happens to be a good friend of his. It is yet another of his power plays, and she is angered at having to ditch her beloved grandmother.
Akiko arrives at the apartment of Takashi (Tadashi Okumo), a retired sociology professor. She engages him in a conversation about a painting on the wall of a pretty woman that resembles herself.
It is obvious that this client is desiring a relaxing date of eating a meal, drinking wine, and listening to music, but Akiko is emotionally drained and while he takes an unexpected phone call, she falls asleep on his bed.
Takashi drops her off at her class the next morning and sees her being pushed around by an angry young man. After Akiko disappears into the school, the young man strikes up a conversation with the old man seated in his car. He turns out to be Akiko's boyfriend Noriaki (Ryo Kase) who works in a car garage. Takashi introduces himself as Akiko's visiting grandfather. When she returns and learns what happened, she accepts their new roles. Later, when Akiko is hurt and looking for help she turns to Takashi.
Like Someone in Love is Iranian writer and director Abbas Kiarostami's first drama set in Tokyo, Japan. We have been very impressed with his previous work and have taken to heart his films, including Certified Copy, about the challenges of love; The Wind Will Carry Us, a probe of the mysteries of life and death; Ten, a parable about living in the present moment; and ABC Africa, a touching documentary about the orphans of Uganda. In these diverse works and this latest one, he demonstrates a deep respect for human beings. There are surprising lessons in these stories for all of us.
"When you give something you feel good, because at that time you feel at one with what you are giving," Shunryu Suzuki observed. Takashi is a generous and kind man who gives Akiko time, attention, caring, and compassion. Some would call that love while others might not go that far. What is true is that his intimacy with her makes him feel at one with her.
Special features on the Blu-Ray/DVD include a new digital master, approved by director Abbas Kiarostami, with 3.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray; a forty-five-minute documentary on the making of the film; a new English subtitle translation; One Blu-ray and one DVD, with all content available in both formats; PLUS: a booklet featuring an essay by film scholar and critic Nico Baumbach.
Screened at The 50th New York Film Festival: September/October 2012.