Oh Lucy! | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated NR · 95 minutes · 2018

Comedy drama
Like Hello, My Name is Doris, this is a feature-length expansion of what was originally a short film, about a lonely woman’s infatuation with a younger man—and it’s something that ends up feeling more like a performance showcase than a cohesive story. It follows Setsuko (Shinobu Terajima), a never-married, middle-aged Japanese office worker who begins an unusual odyssey when she agrees to take an English class taught by an exuberant American (Josh Hartnett) who gives all of his students American names, like Setsuko’s “Lucy.” An impulsive trip to California with Setsuko’s semi-estranged sister Ayako (Kaho Minami) soon follows, and co-writer/director Atsuko Hirayanagi thankfully opts not to lean into fish-out-of-water material, or into the possibility that the narrative is all about Setsuko mending relations with Ayako. But even after starting the film off with the spectre of suicide, Hirayanagi does too little to give Setsuko’s story a distinctive flavor beyond “uptight spinster opens up to life,” despite Terajima’s intriguingly introverted performance. While it’s fine that this gentle slice of life doesn’t resort to easy epiphanies, a journey like this needs to be either more satisfying, or more enlightening.
Staff Rating:
Official Site: ohlucyfilm.com
Director: Atsuko Hirayanagi
Producer: Meileen Choo, Will Ferrell, Razmig Hovaghimian, Adam McKay, Jessica Elbaum, Atsuko Hirayanagi, Yukie Kito and Han West
Cast: Shinobu Terajima, Josh Hartnett, Kaho Minami, Koji Yakusho, Shioli Kutsuna, Megan Mullally, Reiko Aylesworth, Nick Gracer, Liz Bolton, Miyoko Yamaguchi and Hajime Inoue

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