Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami has made such great movies including the masterful "A Taste of Cherry" and the emotional "Certified Copy" that one shouldn't get upset when he makes a merely good one, as "Like Someone in Love" is.
It begins in a Tokyo nightclub as a call girl, Akiko (Rin Takanashi), reluctantly gets her assignment for the night: a widowed literary scholar, Takashi (Tadashi Okuno), who's looking for companionship. When Akiko arrives at Takashi's apartment, a sexual arrangement does not ensue. Instead, Takashi takes a grandfatherly interest in the girl, driving her to her college class the next morning and encountering her abusive and unstable boyfriend (Ryo Kase, from "Letters From Iwo Jima").
Kiarostami lets the moments between Akiko and Takashi unfold naturally, as these characters from different worlds find common bonds. The relationship builds, but toward the end there's the nagging sense that it won't build to much.
'Like Someone in Love'
Opens Friday, March 29, at the Tower Theatre; not rated, but probably R for sexual content, language and some violence; in Japanese with subtitles; 109 minutes.