When their car breaks down in the middle of the road in the California desert, Japanese tourists Atsuko (Atsuko Okatsuka) and her brother Rintaro (Rintaro Sawamoto) find themselves stranded in the small town of Littlerock. Rintaro would rather leave the town as soon as possible to head toward their final destination, Manzanar, to visit the site of a World War II Japanese internment camp. Atsuko, on the other hand, prefers to stay at Littlerock so that she can continue bonding with her new friends, Cory (Cory Zacharia), an aspiring actor/model, and Coryís friend, Jordan (Brett L. Tinnes). For some reason, Cory wants to be more than just friends with Atsuko even though she doesnít understand English, but sheís just not that into him. She does get serious with Jordan, though, and makes out with him. When Cory tries to make the move on her, itís no surprise that she backs away. The fact that heís too clueless to even understand why she rejected his kiss shows how naÔve he is when it comes to relationships.
Director/co-writer Mike Ott has essentially created a slice-of-life drama that moves in a leisurely pace, and doesnít offer much in terms of plot tension because itís mostly character-driven. The town of Littlerock becomes a character in itself, though, and the most interesting one. Ott and co-writer Atsuko Okatsuka should be commended for adding sprinkles of comic relief every now and then, but thereís nothing thatís laugh-out-loud funny. For at least the first half of the film, you might find yourself asking, ďWhere is all of this going?Ē and ď Why am I watching this?Ē In one particular scene during the 2nd act, Atsuko notices some cash in a small restaurantís register which would have been a great opportunity to add some meat to the plotís bones if she were to consider stealing the money, but, alas, the thought doesnít even cross her mind---unfortunately, itís hard to even grasp what sheís thinking and feeling for most of the film.
At a thankfully brief running time of only 1 hour and 24 minutes, Littlerock is a mildly engaging, slight and somewhat breezy slice-of-life drama thatís instantly forgettable.