The latest film from Director Shingo Matsumura is a showcase of rarer versions of modern romance.

Rinko (Aya Ayano, “Shimotsukare Girl”) is a young office lady who dreams of going to Hawaii. As she and her friends prepare of their island trip for a friend’s wedding, she tells them that she and her boyfriend split some time ago. It shocks them because Rinko and Isamu (Kentaro Tamura, “Seven Women in Prison”) still live in the same apartment. They constantly question the situation since it goes against the typical progression of a breakup. It seems that everyone else who finds out shares the same sentiment and express their worries to Rinko though she thinks that she and Isamu are comfortable with how they currently are. As the flight departure date draws closer, things complicate at home and her complacent paradise starts to crumble.

“Love and Goodbye and Hawaii” is a gentle indie movie that shows some of the several stages of a romantic relationship and its different variation. It presents the idea that love doesn’t flow the same way because not everyone get the same result. The film itself proves that it doesn’t have to follow the path of mainstream rom-coms but provide the audience a satisfying ending without any heavy explosive drama. It seems to stray from creating scenes of malice when there is tension between the two former lovers and they show that they can still be amicable with little spite. The movie also does a good job hiding its twist by having viewers be so invested in Rinko that nearly everyone forget that love is still a two-way street. While the protagonist is on the main stage, there is still the other side of the coin to consider.

Earlier in March 2017, “Love and Goodbye and Hawaii” received the Japan Cuts Award at the Osaka Asian Film Festival for best Japanese indie movie.

To read more on the film and check out some similar recommendations, visit the San Diego Asian Film Festival’s page. Follow Pacific Arts Movement to find out what other events they will be hosting.