Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Year Released: 1958
Everyone keeps asking wise businessman Wataru (Shin Saburi) for advice on how to deal with their kids - or even ask him to play negotiator/intermediary with those kids - but when his own daughter wants to marry a man he (a.) didn't pick out for her and (b.) never met before, he turns surly. What's fascinating about this little story - about practicing what you preach and be willing to adapt to how times change (with arranged marriages becoming a 'thing of the past,' or at the very least less common in post-War Japan) - is how the core problem gets resolved with no violence and no screaming: granted, those things would never take place in an Ozu film, but there's something to be said about using discussion and compromise to see things through. American movies would have made this a knock-down, drag-out affair with someone most likely getting slapped - I can unfortunately imagine the Lifetime Network's version of the tale (including teenage runaways, drug use, a scummy boyfriend, maybe a car accident) - but here the women cleverly band together to manipulate Wataru into begrudgingly accepting his daughter's decision. Women: while we're hard at work, or maybe even going for a drink or three after work, they're manipulating the hell out of us.