ONE WONDERFUL SUNDAY is a plotless, episodic confection about a pair of
young lovers with only
between them who make
memorable Sunday date out of nothing. It's a
film, but an appealing, almost Capra-esque one nonetheless.
The film is carried by the two engaging leads, Isao Numasaki and Chieko Nakakita, playing something like Kurosawa's versions of Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, to name one famous Frank Capra couple. Although the film sags in the middle as Numasaki's character wallows in self-pity for a bit too long, it picks up again when the lovers plan their dream coffee house, in pantomime and dialogue, while standing amongst the bombed out ruins of the city. By the time the day is done, and the couple has spent its 35 yen, plus one overcoat for an overcharged cup of coffee, the final words of the film, spoken by the girl, are predictable but perfect: "See you next Sunday!"
ONE WONDERFUL SUNDAY is so unique to the Kurosawa canon, I just realized that it is one of the few Kurosawa reviews I've written not to mention a single other film by the director. For that alone, it deserves to have a place on the shelf of any decent Kurosawa fan. ½ - JB