The Supermarket Woman | Chicago Reader

The Supermarket Woman

This romantic story (1996) about business practices reunites former school friends whose spouses have died. Goro's grocery store is threatened by the opening of a competitor, and Hanako's advice about how he should run it leads to moving moments between the store's staff and customers and an incisive yet gentle examination of how economic relationships are also personal relationships. Excitingly bright colors and lots of neon dominate the production design, and a persuasive score builds an enjoyable anxiety level with percussive interludes, bending your emotions as the two businesses compete and Hanako (Nobuko Miyamoto, A Taxing Woman) tries to dissuade Goro from courting her. An exhilarating chase scene has much more resonance than these suspense spectacles usually do because the conflicting motives of those involved have been compellingly developed by writer-director Juzo Itami long before the vehicles take off.

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