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Parents' Guide to

We Couldn't Become Adults

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Some language, sex in bland male-centric romance drama.

Movie NR 2021 124 minutes
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This Japanese drama is long, male-centric, and doesn't have much to say. So much of We Couldn't Become Adults reaches for a deep poignancy that just isn't there. Indeed, many sad, single mid-40s men like Makoto Sato might be able to relate, but others might find this film a slog. As Makoto works his way backward, "remembering" each woman he was seriously involved with in his life, different "day-in-the-life" snapshots deliver quick beginning, middle, and ends to each relationship. But while measuring your worth by how successful your relationships have been may not be the healthiest belief, neither is basing the way you live life off of one thing one person said a long time ago. Is this what forlorn single men in their 40s do? Remember their failed relationships and zero in on one arbitrary thing and build entire narratives around that one thing?

Further, each woman that Makoto "remembers" has either something "not normal" or something too "normal" about her, and this fascination with whether or not things are "ordinary" is explained later, but never fully supported. In short, because of one silly misunderstanding, Makoto sought to be not "ordinary" and not desire "ordinary" things, like, namely, marriage and kids. Thus, some women after his first love were simply too ordinary, while others are depicted as not ordinary by way of being overtly sexual in some way. For many, this re-presentation of the sexist binary or either/or where women are either "normal" or "(too) sexual" will be too much of a bad look, even with cultural relativity fully acknowledged.

Movie Details

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