Hula Girls (2007)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Hula Girls Photos

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.
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


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

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 clichà (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 cliché 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


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

Alaine B
Alaine B

I'm a sucker for this type of movie.. it was also interesting to hear the dialect, a little tough to understand right away, but coming from the far south, people probably think the same about uchina guchi

S Nakama
S Nakama

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!

Claraity .
Claraity .

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