Love Like the Falling Petals parents guide

Love Like the Falling Petals Parent Guide

Massively successful as a tearjerker, this film is less successful at entertainment.

Overall C

Netflix: This Japanese film tells the love story of Misaki and Haruto. When Misaki falls ill and begins aging at an accelerated rate, their romance becomes precious and poignant.

Release date March 24, 2022

Violence B
Sexual Content C
Profanity B
Substance Use B+

Why is Love Like the Falling Petals rated TV-14? The MPAA rated Love Like the Falling Petals TV-14 for language, sex, and suicide

Run Time: 128 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Haruto (Kento Nakajima) lacks direction in his life. Wandering from part time job to part time job, he has long since given up on his dream of being a photographer. That is, until he happens to get his hair cut by Misaki (Honoka Matsumoto) and the two begin a whirlwind romance. But as the pair begin to consider their happily ever after, fate has something else in store.

“Romance meets terminal illness” has never been my favorite genre (aside from a brief obsession with A Walk to Remember as a teen, of course). Love Like the Falling Petals isn’t particularly original, but you can’t deny the heart behind it. The story falls into various romance and tragedy tropes along the way, but the sheer power of the actors’ skills keep it from sliding into mediocrity. If the goal was to make me cry, the movie succeeded. Multiple times.

This is not an outstanding film but it avoids disaster thanks to clever directing choices. The most obvious is its treatment of Misaki’s illness, a disease that causes rapid aging. Old age makeup has the potential to look horrible when not done perfectly and computer generated aging can look rubbery and fake. To avoid jarring moments with badly done aging effects, director Yoshihiro Fukagawa frames shots to avoid showing Misaki’s face for a majority of the film. When she is visible, the makeup is surprisingly believable. By keeping these shots few and far between, the illusion of her accelerated aging is convincingly maintained, and it leads to some beautiful cinematography.

A less successful directing choice is a framing device used to show the passage of time. Leaning into the cherry blossom metaphor, there are shots interspersed through the story of an obviously computer-generated tree with calendar pages swirling around the branches. I found these shots jarring and kind of cheesy. Instead of reinforcing the film’s theme, they pulled me out of the otherwise well-crafted film.

Genre fans might also complain that some of the early parts of the romance are a bit cringy and over the top, but I suppose that’s to be expected. If you aren’t expressing your love on the second date, are you really in a romance movie?

Aside from a brief non-explicit sex scene and some mild swearing, there isn’t much objectionable content to be found here, but the long run time and emotional plot will deter most teens. And probably a lot of adults. I would only recommend this film for people in the mood for a good long cry. If you’re looking for something cheerful, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Directed by Yoshihiro Fukagawa. Starring Honoka Matsumoto, Kento Nakajima. Running time: 128 minutes. Theatrical release March 24, 2022. Updated

Watch the trailer for Love Like the Falling Petals

Love Like the Falling Petals
Rating & Content Info

Why is Love Like the Falling Petals rated TV-14? Love Like the Falling Petals is rated TV-14 by the MPAA for language, sex, and suicide

Violence: A hairdresser accidently slices the earlobe of her client with scissors. Some blood is shown. A man holds a pair of scissors to his neck as though he is contemplating suicide.
Sexual Content: An adult couple kiss. A couple kiss and begin to undress. They have a brief conversation about condoms before having sex. No nudity is shown.
Profanity: The script contains approximately 10 mild expletives.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults drink socially at restaurants.

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Love Like the Falling Petals Parents' Guide

Why does Misaki not want to see Haruto anymore? What is she afraid of? How does he feel about her decision?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Weepy romances are a sub-genre all their own. Popular with teen viewers are A Walk to Remember, Life in a Year, Clouds, and The Fault in Our Stars. Viewers seeking a more mature perspective might prefer All My Life, Our Friend, or Ordinary Love.

For movies that manipulate time or aging, you can try Needle in a Timestack or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.