Following up on the critical and box-office failure of his 1995 Shizukana Seikatsu, veteran director Juzo Itami made this satirical comedy about a down and out grocery store.
The film opens with down home neighborhood grocery store Shojikiya (The Honest Store) getting squeezed out by a newer, flashier, cheaper rival, whose nefarious owners are planning to jack up the price once its competitor is toast.
Meanwhile, the manager of the beleaguered store (played by Itami regular Masahiko Tsugawa) is drinking to forget the immanent demise of his beloved store.
One day, he runs into his former elementary school classmate and a regular Shojikiya shopper (played by Itami's wife Nobuko Miyamoto) who berates him: the vegetables are wilted, the aisles are stained, and the staff is incompetent. Instead of taking umbrage at her comments, the manager awakens from his torpor and enlists her to revitalize the shop.