I signed up for the Japanese Embassy’s emails and got one inviting me to watch the film Happy Hour online any time between Thursday 7pm and Sunday 7pm. I figured why not. I had enjoyed their virtual showing of Little Forest, though I only watched half of it.
Happy Hour was billed as a slow-burning chronicle of four female friends who’re in their late 30s. I expected some sharing and portrayals of stale marriages, the loneliness of a career woman, and a few of the typical experiences of this stage of life. I expected a modern Ozu and hoped for more, i.e. some unexpected twists.
Friday night when I clicked on the link to the event, I was surprised to see three screens, that look like YouTube screens. I didn’t think much of it. After almost an hour of watching these four characters who were good friends, but nothing special, going on a picnic, dealing with everyday work problems and attending a dull New Age workshop, I went to IMDB. There I learned the film is 5 hours 17 minutes!
Aha. Now I see why the film had three parts. There was no way I had the time for this slow-burning film so I checked out. I haven’t looked back since. I really have no curiosity for these nice enough women.
Released before the pandemic, I’m stunned that this was shown in theaters and people went back twice to watch it. This Happy Hour didn’t work for me even as an episodic television show.