Dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota wastes the money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely pay child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother and beautiful ex-wife seem to be moving on with their lives. Renewing contact with his initially distrustful family, Ryota struggles to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young son – until a stormy summer night offers them a chance to truly bond again. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]
The story follows a Roman architect named Lucius, who is having trouble coming up with ideas. One day, he discovers a hidden tunnel underneath a spa that leads him to a modern Japanese bath house. Inspired by the innovations found there, he creates his own spa, Roma Thermae, bringing in the modern ideas to his time.
Every summer, the Yokoyama clan gathers at the family’s seaside home to commemorate beloved eldest son Junpei, who drowned 15 years earlier. Surviving son Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) has brought his new wife and her child to meet with his eternally disapproving parents, attempting to hide the fact that he is currently unemployed. Patriarch Kyohei (Yoshio Harada) is an unhappily retired doctor, resentful to be participating in this annual ritual. Matriarch Toshiko (Kirin Kiki) busies herself with food preparation and chitchat in an attempt to hide her frustrations and anger, while sister Chinami (Japanese pop star You) tries to relieve the tension with sheer perkiness. Over the course of one hot, languorous day, they will tolerate each other’s company and attempt to salvage long-broken connections, if only for a few hours.