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Hula Girls (Hula garu)

Hula Girls (Hula garu) (2006)

tomatometer

40

Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.

audience

83

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 3,460

My Rating

Movie Info

As the Korean War draws to a close and the pressing demand for copious amounts of coal takes a sudden plunge, the remote Japanese mining town of Joban attempts to compensate for the devastating economic blow by transforming itself into a lavish Hawaiian retreat in an affectionate comedy inspired by real events and directed by Lee Sang-il. The year s 1965 and the changes that have swept through the outside world are finally reaching Joban. As the mineworkers are laid off and the women of the town

Nov 6, 2007

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (9) | DVD (2)

An irresistible Japanese import, Hula Girls is a crowd-pleaser so comfortable with its own clich√ (C)s that it goes down smoother than a mai tai on Maui.

September 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The girls face prejudice from their families, while their amateur moves frustrate the dance instructor. Will they ever triumph? Just guess.

August 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
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Director Lee Sang-il employs every possible clichť as he shamelessly tries to manipulate viewers' emotions.

July 13, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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The dance floor is soon covered with syrupy melodrama.

July 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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Slick cinematography makes this bland social comedy always watchable, but the movie has its insipid moments.

July 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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Hula Girls is the latest entry in a durable subgenre about marginalized eccentrics who learn a new skill and become better, stronger people.

July 13, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This bitter sweet dramedy sits alongside films such as The Full Monty as it follows a group of coalminers' daughters turning into hula girls.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

There's nothing new in this very formulaic let's-put-on-a-show drama.

November 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

An eminently likeable, well-made film.

September 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

While he's coasting through on his story, [Lee] concentrates on giving his movie a great big heart. Either that, or this tired old tale simply sounds better in Japanese.

August 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

While the outline of the film's plot is fairly standard and predictable, director Lee Sang-il and his co-screenwriter Daisuke Habara have concocted enough obstacles ... to keep the audience's interest. When the film reaches its climax ... it arrives there

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Murphy's Movie Reviews
Murphy's Movie Reviews

U.S. audiences may find themselves impatient with the leisurely way Lee -- a Japanese director of Korean descent -- lets the tale unfold.

July 13, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Where the filmmakers fall flat, aside from undistinguished direction and truly poor lighting and cinematography, is in making the characters such cardboard ciphers.

July 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Steadfast tradition and encroaching progress lock horns in the surprisingly cheerful Hula Girls.

June 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Hula Girls (Hula garu)

I'm amazed that this film is already in the database. While I was watching it, I thought: "Gotta tell flixster to include this one." And here it is. Even if this weren't based on actual events, this movie would be worth watching if you enjoy dance, and especially if you like hula. The hula revolution is in full swing these days. The last time I checked, there were more than 8,000 hula halau (dance troupes) located throughout Japan. That Japan loves Hawai`i and vice versa is abundantly apparent these days, but this movie is set in 1965-66, when launching your own halau was a bit of a mysterious and perhaps perilous adventure. Surely this group was a pioneering one, and that is a story worth telling. An added bonus is that the film is scored by Hawai`i ukulele legend Jake Shimabukuro http://jakeshimabukuro.com/ . His soundtrack won the 2007 Japanese Academy Award for Best Sound Recording.
October 29, 2007
binky013

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Foreign Titles

  • Hula Girls (Hura garu) (DE)
  • Hula Girls (Hura garu) (UK)
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