Oh Lucy! (2017 film)

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Oh Lucy!
Oh Lucy! (2017 film).jpg
Film poster
Directed byAtsuko Hirayanagi
Produced byHan West
Yukie Kito
Jessica Elbaum
Atsuko Hirayanagi
Screenplay by
Based onOh Lucy
by Atsuko Hirayanagi
Music byErik Friedlander
CinematographyPaula Huidobro
Edited byKate Hickey
Distributed by
Release date
  • May 22, 2017 (2017-05-22) (Cannes)
  • March 2, 2018 (2018-03-02) (United States)
CountryUnited States
  • English
  • Japanese
Box office$373,293 (US)[1]

Oh Lucy! is a 2017 American-Japanese drama film directed, produced and co-written by Atsuko Hirayanagi, based on her 2014 short film of the same name.

The film follows a lonely chain-smoking office drudge living in Tokyo who develops a crush on her English teacher and decides to follow him to Los Angeles when he disappears. However, she ends up in America with her sister and her niece, as well as her English teacher. It premiered in the International Critics' Week section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in France, and was released in American theaters on March 2, 2018.[2][3]


Setsuko Kawashima is a lonely, chain-smoking office worker in Tokyo who is unmarried. When her niece Mika contacts her, Setsuko goes to see her despite warnings from her sister Ayako, not to get involved. Mika tells Setsuko that she signed up for a year of English classes but can no longer afford to go as she needs to save up money and keep working. Mika asks Setsuko to buy her out and sends her for to the school for a free first class.

At the school Setsuko meets John, an American teacher who hugs her warmly, gives her the American name of Lucy and a bright blonde wig so she can adopt an American persona. Setsuko is quickly charmed by John and decides to keep attending classes. At their next session she learns that John has abruptly quit to go back to America. Leaving the school she sees John and Mika kissing and getting into a cab. Her sister informs her that Mika is moving to America.

Setsuko tries to return to English class, but finds she can't continue. Instead, when she receives a postcard from Mika with her address, Setsuko decides to follow her. Ayako decides to join her.

Arriving in L.A. the two are surprised when they arrive and find only John who claims that Mika left him and he has no idea where she is. After raiding his room however Ayako discovers a postcard from Mika sent from San Diego. The sisters hire a car and have John drive them to the motel where Mika was last heard from.

While waiting for Mika to reappear John offers to teach Setsuko how to drive and the two end up having sex. Afterwards Setsuko goes to a tattoo parlour to get the same tattoo as John but when she shows it to him he rebuffs her.

The following morning Ayako confronts John and tells him to take her to Mika. He goes to his house where he introduces Ayako his wife and daughter who know where Mika is but will not tell him.

Setsuko, left alone at the motel, ends up running into Mika who tells her that she broke up with John after discovering his family. They have a picnic near the beach where Mika teases Setsuko about having a crush on John and Setsuko, in anger reveals that she slept with John and that she still holds a deep anger and resentment towards Ayako for marrying her boyfriend. Mika jumps off a cliff, trying to commit suicide, but lives.

At the hospital Setsuko tells John she loves him but he rejects her completely in anger for her interference between him and Mika. Ayako ends up telling her to stay out of their lives, completely disowning her as both her sister and Mika’s aunt.

Setsuko returns to Tokyo where she learns she is essentially being fired. At home she tries to commit suicide by ingesting pills following feeling having absolutely lost the love of her life, her job and her family. She is found by Takeshi Komori, her classmate at English class who goes by the name Tom, who makes her vomit the pills. Takeshi later reveals that his son killed himself and that he blames himself for being too strict which is why he enjoys slipping in to his Tom persona. He and Setsuko hug, signifying Setsuko starting over her life anew in finding hope.



Filming concluded in December 2016.[4]


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 100% based on 47 reviews, and an average rating of 6.99/10. The critical consensus is: "Oh Lucy! roots its narrative quirks in universal themes and deep empathy for its characters, all brought to life by strong performances from a talented cast led by the thoroughly charming Shinobu Terajima."[5] On Metacritic, which assigns normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 68 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[6]


  1. ^ "Oh Lucy!". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  2. ^ "Selection of the 56th International Critics' Week". Semaine de la Critique. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  3. ^ "56th International Critics' Week Press Kit" (PDF). Semaine de la Critique. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (16 December 2016). "Josh Hartnett, Shinobu Terajima to Star in U.S.-Japan Drama-Comedy 'Oh Lucy!'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Oh Lucy! (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  6. ^ "Oh Lucy! Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 19, 2018.

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