Hula Girls (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hula Girls (2007)

Hula Girls



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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 take it upon themselves to gently nudge their once-prosperous community from the brink of economic collapse, the ancient Hawaiian art of the hula dance seems to offer the ideal means of doing so. Though highly fashionable Tokyo urbanite Madoka Hirayama (Yasuko Matsuyuki) at first seems terribly out of place when she arrives in Joban to teach local ladies how to saw their hips with authentic grace, her noble efforts soon instill her students with a newfound sense of confidence in both themselves, and their struggling community.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Sang-il Lee, Daisuke Habara
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 6, 2007
Viz Pictures - Official Site


Yasuko Matsuyuki
as Madoka Hirayama
Etsushi Toyokawa
as Yojiro Tanikawa
Y Aoi
as Kimiko
Shizuyo Yamazaki
as Sayuri Kumano
Eri Tokunaga
as Sanae Kimura
Ittoku Kishibe
as Norio Yoshimoto
Junko Fuji
as Chiyo Tanikawa
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Hula Girls

Critic Reviews for Hula Girls

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (9)

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.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Director Lee Sang-il employs every possible clich as he shamelessly tries to manipulate viewers' emotions.

Full Review… | July 13, 2007
New York Post
Top Critic

The dance floor is soon covered with syrupy melodrama.

Full Review… | July 13, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Slick cinematography makes this bland social comedy always watchable, but the movie has its insipid moments.

Full Review… | July 13, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Hula Girls is the latest entry in a durable subgenre about marginalized eccentrics who learn a new skill and become better, stronger people.

Full Review… | July 13, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

It's all warm, well-shot, instantly forgettable, and familiar to a fault.

Full Review… | July 10, 2007
Village Voice
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Hula Girls

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 . His soundtrack won the 2007 Japanese Academy Award for Best Sound Recording.

Lanning : )

Super Reviewer


More entertaining than I expected. Too bad the critics were lukewarm on this one. I recommend it, though.

Alaine B

An amazing true story! A well done film that is touching with a feel good ending. A typical inspirational movie, but a little better. Watch it for the story and the amazing dancing!

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