Bill Murray plays a middle-aged man living in Japan on an extended business visit, while Scarlett Johansson plays a young recently married woman visiting Japan with her husband also on business. Both live in a large hotel and run into each other on and off. The movie is about how circumstances bring the two characters together, well almost. The contrast between a middle aged man who is ambling along in life and a young woman who is just beginning married life is portrayed, or at least that appears to be the intent (based on my translation!).
Overall, I was at a loss as to what all the fuss about this movie was. I never found it funny. Neither did I find anything earth-shaking about the production/direction aspects of the film. Bill Murray had the same smug expression through the movie, there were times I wished someone would just step up and give him a slap or two to see if his expression might change. Scarlett Johansson on the other hand, does a fine job. With minimal dialogues she portrays a lot of emotion through facial expressions. The movie is full of disjointed scenes, and very often I was left to wonder what the point of many of the scenes were! After I while, I was waiting for something to happen, and sure enough nothing did.
In short, I was lost all through the movie. Maybe I needed someone to translate!