There are a few Japanese movies that I really like. I'm a fan of older ones like Tampopo and The Funeral. I also like some of the newer ones like Shall We Dance (which I liked much better than the Richard Gere/J.Lo remake), Hula Girls (a great movie based on a true story!!) and Letters From Iwo Jima...which I saw in Japanese with no subtitles...a great test of my language ability but I understood enough and I think that having to read the subtitles would have really taken away from the movie.
But of all the Japanese movies I have seen, there is one (IMHO) that stands out as a really funny movie and is so true to the way things are in the high schools here. The movie is called Water Boys. It is about a group of high school boys who don't really belong to any club (gasp) and are basically a bunch of misfits. In preparation for the annual Bunka Sai ("Culture Festival"), they form a group of synchronized swimmers to perform at the festival. The movie is all about how they trained, the problems they had and the people who helped them along the way.
This movie was released a few years ago and is still very popular. In fact, a National competition, supported by a comedic group, is held every year in Tokyo and the finals are broadcast on TV.
The first time I saw this, I remember just laughing out loud!! I was a teacher at a public school for 5 years, and I can honestly say that everything in this movie, I pretty much witnessed similar situations and more. The yearly Bunka Sai is a chance for students to cut loose....so to speak. I always looked forward to the festival every year as I knew, for sure, that I would be entertained!!
Here is a clip from the movie....it's the last performance for the boys and the whole school and some girls from another school are all there watching. And yes...there is a group of okama, or "men dressed as women" in the crowd...they had a pretty big part in the movie!! Watch it if you have the time...it'll make you smile!! (or at least I hope it does!!!) If anything, you'll get a giggle over the swimsuits!!!
Have a great weekend!! :-D