Good setting, pacing, and casting.
The only scene in the movie that I found lacking was the filming of the television commercial. The Japanese director would give about a minute worth of direction, which the translator would relay to Bill Murray as such simple things as “Look from the right.” This is the stereotypical portrayal of foreign languages – a foreign character will give an extended monologue full of inflection that is then translated into English (sometimes in sub-titles) as “Yes.”
??????????????” ??” ?
(The string of odd characters was a line of Japanese glyphs, but either MT or MySQL doesn’t like Unicode. Phooey.)