DVD Review: Quirky Guys And Gals
Release date: 3rd October 2011
Quirky Guys and Gals is the latest release from the Third Window Films DVD label and the title pretty much sums up what you’re going to get. The film itself consists of four short stories, “Cheer Girls”, “Boy? Meets Girl”, “Claim Night!”, and “House Full of Abandoned Business Men” written and directed by four different directors, a mix of old and new, Yosuke Fujita, Tomoko Matsunashi, Mipo Ok, and Gen Sekiguchi.
“Hagemashi Girls” or “Cheer Girls” written and directed by Yosuke Fujita
The story introduces us to some of the quirky girls of the title. Nanami Sakurba as Chiharu, Emiko Kawamura as Sanae and Kumiko Shiratori as Mamiko are three girls who have taken it on themselves to take cheer-leading to the next level and are cheering people to energise them in their everyday life. An example being a man having trouble tying his shoelace. Chiharu is the leader of the group and is prone to fits of violence to keep her girls in check and to keep up their important work! All the girls play their roles with all the enthusiasm needed to convince, with Nanami the standout of the girls. YosiYosi Arakawa is a little distracting as the restaurant owner Masuteo but this doesn’t distract from the story and in the end the story leaves us with a resolution which both pleases and confuses in equal measure.
“Boy? Meets Girl” written and directed by Tomoko Matsunashi
This story concerns the time old tale of boy meets girl, boy dresses as girls to talk to girl and boy finally reveals secret to girl! Aoi Nakamura is Konosuke Muratsubaki the Boy? of the title and Misako Renbutsu is Kaori Shiroyama, the girl of Konosukes affections. As this story feels like the least quirky of the four is a testament to the writing and acting of the major players in this segment as after all it does concern a boy dressing, as a rather convincing/confusing, woman to talk to the girl of his dreams, Tomoko shoots Aoki in soft focus to ensure we know this. The ending of this story does feel a little like a let down but overall the feel good factor is not disturbed too much.
“Claim Night!” directed by Mipo Ok
Starring Mayuko Kushuhara as Tomochika and Tenkyu Fukuda as Hideki Kasai. Mayuko is a dissatisfied customer and Hideki is the electrical company’s customer services rep trying to remedy the situation. This story only has the two actors and is better for it as this story boasts the best acting from all four stories helped by the writing and direction which gives the actors the space and tools to perform, Mayuko in particular convinces as the slightly desperate, slightly deranged house wife so wronged by the electric company. This story leaves us with a satisfactory and slightly unexpected third act which threatens to undo the good work which went before but in the end you are left remembering the acting and simple and effective story.
“House Full of Abandoned Business Men” written and directed by Gen Sekiguchi
The title basically explains what this story is all about. Kyoko Koizumi is Mayumi Okada a house wife who takes in business men who have lost their jobs and just hang around, rather worryingly, a children’s playground and lets them stay in her house in order for the men to keep the fact they lost the jobs from their wives. Kyoyo plays the house wife with a warm, uplifting feel which is the best way to describe the rather basic story of a house wife trying to fill her house and life with companions whether they be cats or down on their luck business men. This story is the least interesting of the four but does however have the funniest scene with 15 business men vs. cockroach!
The tendency when you watch a film with four segments is to pick your favourite and this does take a little away from the message they try to deliver. Also each story does not suffer despite having a short running time as each director ensures we are put convincingly into the world of the quirky guys and gals. The four stories have their own positive message and all the stories are concerned with pushing that positive message and saying that no matter how quirky you may be there is hope for us all. While this film is no boundary pusher it does satisfy and leaves you with the positive message the directors were aiming for.
DVD BONUS FEATURES:
- Anamorphic widescreen transfer with optional English subtitles
- Special messages from all four directors
- Exclusive interviews with all four directors
- Theatrical Trailer
Released by Third Window Films on 3rd October 2011
Author of review: Dean Hilliam