February 08, 2023
Cute little road trip drama. The film is sometimes billed as a comedy, because of the lighter atmosphere I guess, but it's really just a traditional Japanese drama following a group of people trying to get from A to B. Matsui does a good job capturing the youthful spirit of his lead characters, but it's not quite enough to set the film apart from its many peers.
We follow four young island girls as they are trying to make their way to Tokyo. They're all major fans of CreepHyp, a minor J-Rock band, who are doing a rare live concert. It's a spur-of-the-moment decision, but the four decide to attend. They start off their 1000km trip by bike but they quickly realize they won't make their target that way.
The performances are strong, the road trip feels pretty animated and the use of handy cams and text conversations gives the film a more dynamic vibe. As a coming-of-age drama, Our Huff and Puff Journey is a bit light though and while the ending is interesting, it's not quite powerful enough to leave a lasting impression. It's a very pleasant and agreeable film, just no masterpiece.