Starring: Sôta Fukushi, Nana Komatsu, Masahiro Higashide
Director: Takahiro Miki
Running Time: 110 mins
Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You is a Japanese film about a man who sees a beautiful woman on the morning train, and plucks up the courage to speak to her and arrange a date. Over the following days, they fall deeper in love, however she holds a big secret that will change the turn their relationship completely on its head.
I really liked this film. It may seem at first like a cheesy high school romantic drama, but over the course of two hours, it does brilliantly to get you on side with its very sentimental story. Thanks to two excellent lead performances, and an original (albeit briefly strange) take on the romantic drama, the film is a genuinely engrossing and emotionally affecting watch, growing in power and intrigue throughout.
As much as I loved it in the end, I have to say that I really didn’t expect to like this film. Its opening scene is pretty cringeworthy my most standards, as we see a student see a girl on the train and immediately fall in love with her.
However, the success of this film comes in the way that it completely changes your opinion of what seems like a painfully cheesy story. Starting off as a simple romantic drama, watching a two young lovers’ relationship blossom, the film’s pleasant and upbeat atmosphere allows you to settle in well, and given that it refrains from taking their relationship too far too early on, it’s easy to start to get engrossed in the two characters, and want to see how they turn out in the end.
Things change significantly, however, about a third of the way through, when the girl reveals a huge secret. For a film that managed to establish a cheesy romantic drama so well in the first act, and had me fully on side for two hours of lovey-doveyness, I was really surprised that it went for such a huge twist out of seemingly nowhere.
And that’s the issue. You see, as well as this film works in the end, the moment at which the twist comes is so abrupt and unexpected, and with something that requires quite a leap of the imagination, I was left a little bewildered for a good ten minutes of the film, struggling to get on board with this complete switch in the way the story works.
Of course, I can’t tell you what that twist is exactly, but knowing that something is coming would help to prevent that brief period of utter confusion afterwards. Despite that, however, the following hour or so is even better than the film’s first act.
Once things start to make a bit more sense, and you’ve managed to make that leap of the imagination with the film, it actually adds so much to the story. Bringing an extra level of drama and devastating emotion to the central relationship, as well as a unique spin on the role of the two characters in said relationship, the twist eventually makes things turn out even more engrossing than you could ever expect.
What’s more is that the film looks back on the earlier sequences that may have seemed cheesy and overly sentimental, and completely changes your view of them for the better. So, as cringe-inducing as that opening scene may be, it’s actually a very powerful and engrossing moment when looked back on in hindsight, and that’s a very clever technique that not a lot of movies manage to pull off quite so successfully.
Yes, the film is still very sentimental, and there are a couple of moments that feel a little melodramatic. However, the sweet and pleasant relationship established between the two leads, helped by two wonderful central performances, is more than enough to get you engrossed in the story at hand, and when push came to shove in some of the more emotional moments, I was genuinely being pushed close to tears, something that I could never have expected after that opening scene, which is why I’m giving Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You a 7.8 overall.