Directed by: Mayu Akiyama
2018 / 78 minutes / Unclassified all ages
You can’t buy love—but you can rent friendship
Do platonic friendships between the sexes really exist? Despite a lack of personal experience, columnist Nasa thinks it’s possible. After a chance encounter with a charming friend-for-hire, she contrives to use his rented friendship to fuel a new article series exploring the topic. Intrigued by rented friend Sota’s concept of a ‘friendship-romance switch’, Nasa secretly sets out to test their individual limits but quickly finds finds herself in too deep. When Nasa’s vocalist roommate also finds an easy connection with Sota through their shared passion for music, a messy triangle blurring the lines of friendship and ‘something more’ emerges. As their personal connections slide into the danger zones, personal and professional boundaries become anyone’s game.
Understanding her honesty and fakery in the rented friendship, Nasa begins to question: how much of Sota’s friendship is authentic, and how much is the performance of a professional? More importantly, who in their friendship group will be the first to ‘cross the line’?
Rent a Friend is the debut independent feature from breakthrough director Mayu Akiyama and screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2018, starring Eri Tokunaga (Kyoto Elegy) in her first leading role. With quirky humour, interesting characters and a catchy soundtrack Rent a Friend is a refreshing take on contemporary (anti) romantic comedy.
Director: Mayu Akiyama
Screenplay: Mayu Akiyama
Producer: Takamasa Nagano
Cast: Eri Tokunaga, Atsushi Hashimoto and Sumire Ashina
Format: DCP colour