January 28, 2023
A quirky Japanese indie drama. It took me a little while to warm up to Sad Tea, but that's because it plays with a subtle balance that needs a bit of time to surface. About halfway through I had a handle on the peculiar mix of drama, romance, and comedy. From there on out it's a fun build-up to a worthwhile finale.
Several friends are struggling to commit to their romantic relationships. A former idol wants to visit a lifelong fan, even though she's about the marry. A writer has two girlfriends but loves neither of them, and a young boy dumps his girlfriend when he falls in love with the girl that sold him her birthday present.
The film is quite slow and leans heavily on familiar drama elements, but there are a couple of coincidences and little twists that betray a darker sense of humor. The finale is really on point in that regard. Solid performances, fun characters, and simple but pleasant styling make this a nice discovery. It's not the most remarkable film, but it does have its own signature.