Kimi to Arukou
2009 / 91m - Japan
To Walk Beside You poster


July 19, 2022


A quirky drama by Yuya Ishii. Entirely on brand in other words. Ishii is known for mixing drama and comedy in various ways, To Walk Beside You is structured as a more traditional drama, but it gets interspersed with funny coincidences and some random moments of silliness. The result is pretty endearing.

A 30-something teacher and her 17-year-old student feel stuck in the small rural town they grew up in. They decide to elope to Tokyo and live as a couple. Once there they switch to survival mode, as money is sparse and work hard to come by. When they meet a young couple who are planning to elope, they decide to help them.

The drama can get a little heavy, but Ishii's approach makes sure it never becomes overbearing or depressing. His films tend to be feel-good without the excessive sentiment, this one fits in just perfectly. The pleasant cinematography, fine performances and inoffensive score only add to the good-natured vibes. Another solid Ishii.