Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Let's hop in the pool! (プールに飛び込もうぜ!)

Well, let it never be said that I stayed on a single track for too long.

Er, well. Too long according to my own standards, anyway.

Today, we return once again to the world of cinema--completely lacking in metal in any way, shape or form. (My grandmother is just thrilled, let me tell you.)

No, no, today's post is enjoyable for the whole family, and indeed recommended for it.

ウォーターボーイズ, or Water Boys, is a movie I had been hearing about for a number of years without really understanding what all the fuss was about. I had conflicting messages--it had to do with synchronized swimming, it had to do with BL, it was hilarious, it was touching, it was the "best movie ever"...

Needless to say, I had to watch it for myself.

Definitely worth anyone's time, let me tell you right now.

The basic plot is that of a young group of "misfits" in an all-boys high school, who are somewhat reluctantly reigned into a synchronized swimming team by a new, cute female teacher. The trick is, she gets them by starting the club as a simple "swimming" club... then has a "mental breakdown" which is only calmed by the students professing that they will do anything she tells them to, and she's a good teacher, really!

Cue the synchronized swimming tapes.

Needless to say, the previously enraptured senior class (presumably; it's a lot of boys) high-tails it, leaving the afore-mentioned "misfits" as the only members.

This may be because our protagonist of sorts was already intrigued by synchronized swimming, having stumbled upon a meet after his own failed attempt at competing in freestyle--he could most certainly be called the ringleader, and it is presumable that the other five stay on because of him.

Then, after everything seems ready to go (with only five members, but かまわない!), that cute female teacher gets sick with baby.

... yes, I could have figured out a better way to say that, but really, it's quite vague. She's not nearly big enough to be going into labor... though there is mention of "eight months," making me wonder if there isn't some premature action going on there.

Needless to say, she is out of the picture, and our five heroes are on their own if they want to continue with the club. Which, after some debate and pussyfooting about, they decide that they do.

Of course, the main two points of conflict and plot development in this film are:

(1) The derision these boys take from doing a traditionally feminine sport.

(2) The difficulties of practicing and becoming good enough for a performance when there are no teachers to be had.

Of course, hilarity ensure, as do some heartwarming moments. The finale is quite satisfying, if a little unbelievable (though admittedly, without a firm grasp of the time frame, I can't really claim that), and I left feeling very good.

I laughed aloud many, many times during this film--definitely good if you're looking for something light-hearted and cute. No surprise deaths here, my friends, no indeed.

As for the BL aspect, it is a very, VERY small part of the movie, represented as sort of an inevitability of all-boy education (something that was brought up in my own discussions with men who had gone through this system as truth.) Don't watch this if you're looking for some hot man kisses is what I'm saying here.

And of course, there are drag queens, for what is a good Japanese comedy without drag queens?

As stated previously, definitely recommended. Edo-approved, you might say. If you can get your hot little hands on this film in any way, shape or form, I would suggest that you do so.

This is Edo, signing off while dancing along with the amazing choreography in her head.

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