7.2/10
1,712
14 user 24 critic

Hula Girls (2006)

Hura gâru (original title)
Young women in a small Japanese town look to revive their home's declining fortunes by building a Hawaiian village tourist attraction.

Director:

Sang-il Lee
23 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Villain (2010)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young woman's murder provokes reflection on the ugliness and villainy of modern society.

Director: Sang-il Lee
Stars: Eri Fukatsu, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Akira Emoto
Waterboys (2001)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In a Japanese high school, a class of adolescent geeks joins the new synchronized swimming teacher and takes up the challenge to take part in the competition, in spite of the mockeries of the "real sportsmen".

Director: Shinobu Yaguchi
Stars: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Hiroshi Tamaki, Akifumi Miura
Rage (2016)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A grisly unsolved murder links three seemingly unrelated stories in three different Japanese cities.

Director: Sang-il Lee
Stars: Ken Watanabe, Mirai Moriyama, Aoi Miyazaki
Swing Girls (2004)
Drama | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A tale of delinquent and lazy school girls. In their efforts to cut remedial summer math class, they end up vitiating and replacing the schools brass band.

Director: Shinobu Yaguchi
Stars: Juri Ueno, Yûta Hiraoka, Shihori Kanjiya
Rainbow Song (2006)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two film students meet and fall in love while working on a school project.

Director: Naoto Kumazawa
Stars: Hayato Ichihara, Juri Ueno, Yû Aoi
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When Matsuko dies of murder, her nephew Sho gets to progressively unveil many details of her mysterious past, discovering she wasn't only a forgotten outcast but led a very interesting yet bizarre life.

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima
Stars: Miki Nakatani, Eita, Yûsuke Iseya
Kamome Diner (2006)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Where are we welcome? On a quiet street in Helsinki, Sachie has opened a diner featuring rice balls. For a month she has no customers. Then, in short order, she has her first customer, ... See full summary »

Director: Naoko Ogigami
Stars: Satomi Kobayashi, Hairi Katagiri, Masako Motai
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A music group of girls need to learn to play a song before the school festival.

Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita
Stars: Doona Bae, Aki Maeda, Yû Kashii
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A husband (Isao Hashizume) and wife (Kazuko Yoshiyuki) have been married for 50 years. For her birthday, the husband asks the wife what she wants for her birthday present. She replies that ... See full summary »

Director: Yôji Yamada
Stars: Isao Hashizume, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Masahiko Nishimura
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Momoko, a strange and seemingly emotionless girl obsessed with 18th century France, befriends a Yanki biker and the two experience the ups and downs of their unusual lives in a rural Japanese town.

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima
Stars: Kyoko Fukada, Anna Tsuchiya, Hiroyuki Miyasako
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A story about the disappearance of Kirishima, a star athlete of the volleyball club and how this disappearance of his affect every person in his school.

Director: Daihachi Yoshida
Stars: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Ai Hashimoto, Suzuka Ohgo
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When two best friends develop a crush on the same boy, they develop a plan to trick him into dating them.

Director: Shunji Iwai
Stars: Anne Suzuki, Yû Aoi, Tomohiro Kaku
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Yasuko Matsuyuki ... Madoka Hirayama
Etsushi Toyokawa Etsushi Toyokawa ... Yojiro Tanikawa
Yû Aoi ... Kimiko Tanikawa
Shizuyo Yamasaki Shizuyo Yamasaki ... Sayuri Kumano
Shoko Ikezu Shoko Ikezu
Eri Tokunaga Eri Tokunaga ... Sanae Kimura
Kojo Miyake Kojo Miyake
Susumu Terajima Susumu Terajima
Masaru Shiga Masaru Shiga
Hiroshi Ohkôchi Hiroshi Ohkôchi
Daikichi Sugawara
Katsumi Takahashi Katsumi Takahashi
Ittoku Kishibe Ittoku Kishibe ... Norio Yoshimoto
Sumiko Fuji Sumiko Fuji ... Chiyo Tanikawa (as Junko Fuji)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tomori Abe Tomori Abe ... Yoneko Tsutaya
Edit

Storyline

In 1965 the planned closing of a coal mine in Iwaki (northeastern Japan) will put 2,000 people out of work with devastating effects on the community. The mining company plans to build the Hawaiian Center to promote tourism, but the idea meets with resistance by the community's union families who boycott the effort. However, a few of the young women in Joban see the call for dancers to possibly provide a more promising future. Norio Yoshimoto is put in charge of organizing the center, with Madoka Hirayama, a professional dancer fleeing creditors in Tokyo hired to train the dancers. Kimiko, her friend Sanae, and Sayuri are amongst the handful first showing up for lessons but soon others join them. When Kimiko's mother, Chiyo, discovers that she has skipped school classes to learn dancing the two argue and Kimiko leaves home. Her brother Yojiro, one of the newly out of work miners, comes to be supportive of her dancing as he becomes protective of Madoka. The girls start to tour ... Written by Brian Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

23 September 2006 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Hula Girls See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

None of the actresses had any dance training prior to the film, so they trained for three months. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Aloha meets Konnichiwa with Struggle, Understanding, Embrace
11 September 2006 | by JamesterSee all my reviews

I saw 'Hula Girl' at the Toronto International Film Festival with the affable director Lee Sang-Il present.

This movie, based on the true story of how a dying coal mining town attempts the preposterous idea of building a taste of Hawaii in the cold town through dancing girls, a huge palm-tree filled centre and an 'outsider' dance teacher from Tokyo.

Almost immediately, you know that this movie will be about the town's struggle to survive pitting the traditional, town-encrusted family against those supporting a potential new way of life. I had thoughts of the Japanese version of 'Shall We Dance' ringing through my mind, but perhaps the dancing is the furthest you can compare between the movies. The emotional depth of the movie was somewhat unexpected...sadness, some corniness, some laughter. Yet the movie worked where it needed to, and kept moving at the right pace leaving me at the end feeling like I had seen everything that had happened. Except that at the end, I had been so entranced with the characters I was wondering how they, themselves turned out.

The movie pulled me in nicely with a strong story that was well developed and a really good watch.

If you're looking for something a little different, and open to learning a little bit about life in a small Japanese town in the 1960s, I think this gives you a good feel for the people, the attitudes, and a change that took grip in a dramatic and light-hearted way.

Kudos to the director and production team!


22 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed