We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Men—you can’t live with ’em, so you might as well pack ’em off to Japan. The first Doris Dorrie film to get major distribution in the United States was 1985’s Men, in which a jealous husband clandestinely moved in with his wife’s new lover, and this 2000 successor could take the same title. This time, the two middle-aged guys in crisis are brothers who leave Munich for Japan with very different goals: Gustav (Gustav Peter Wohler) is a feng shui expert who has long dreamed of spending time in a remote Zen monastery; the less spiritual Uwe (Uwe Ochsenknecht) simply wants to get away from home, emptied of the wife and five young kids who had just left him. The brothers arrive in Tokyo, which turns out to be crowded, confusing, and full of people who don’t speak German, and have some adventures that might have seemed novel 30 years ago. They’re shocked at the cost of a round of drinks, spend all their money, and get lost in Shinjuku’s teeming back streets. (But, really, how much sympathy can you have for guys in a strange city who leave their hotel without knowing its name or address?) Things improve, narratively as well as temperamentally, when the duo finally makes it to the monastery. The brothers find, if not enlightenment, at least a few surprises: Uwe takes better to the rigid routine than Gustav does, and the latter is moved to issue a confession. The payoff is modest, but this small-scale film is more appealing when it reaches a state of acceptance than when it’s making stale culture-clash jokes. —Mark Jenkins