The other movie I saw at the DC Film Fest, I Just Didn’t Do It is a film by Masayuki Suo, the guy behind Shall we dansu?, the Japanese movie which would be remade as Shall We Dance? By the way, Shall We Dance is a surprisingly decent movie, considering it is about ballroom dancing. It has a pretty great cast (Richard Gere, Bobby Cannavale, Nick Cannon, Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Lopez et al). So shut up.

I Just Didn’t Do It is an indictment of the Japanese court system, but also partially of Japanese culture. It tells the story of a 20-something guy accused (wrongly?) of groping a schoolgirl on the train, a too-prevalent act that ends with an alarming 99 percent conviction rate in the courts, leading most charged with the crime to pay a fine and stay a few days in jail.

There are a few interesting characters along the way, and the story is probably worth telling, but ultimately the movie just drags on too long. Probably a half hour could have been cut without really losing anything other than a few subplots that went nowhere. And it would have added to the surprising lack of tension.

I also saw this movie with John, and we both remarked on the newbishness (yes, I went there) of the audience. It was as if they hadn’t seen a movie before, but because it was a movie in a film festival, they felt obliged to cover for it by laughing 30 seconds after a joke or loudly remarking on incredibly stupid things a few beats after a comment would have been appropriate (not that comments were appropriate, but where they would have been if it had been more of a participatory movie).

Also, strangely, while watching the movie, I couldn’t help but notice Brian furiously taking notes.

What? Look, I really tried, and I almost made it, but it is a movie about getting in trouble for groping Japanese schoolgirls. The joke had to be made. It just had to.

Trailer after the jump.