by Chris MaGee
Ever wonder what the all-girl high school band in Nobuhiro Yamashita's 2005 comedy "Linda, Linda, Linda" would look and sound like once they hit middle age? Okay, you most likely haven't, but for the very few amongst you who have TV director Yoshiko Hoshida will give you at a relative glimpse in the upcoming film "Utahime". To be fair "Utahime" isn't any kind of sequel to Yamashita's film. It's not related at all, but its plot-line follows the story arch of "Linda, Linda, Linda" but with middle-aged moms instead of high school girls.
"Utahime" will revolve around Mieko, portrayed by 49-year-old actress Hitomi Kuroki, whose marriage and anti-social daughter has her looking for an out and that out ends up being through music. Mieko gathers together a group of her housewife friends played by Miki Maya, Shizuyo Yamasaki and Tae Kimura, and they end up forming a band. The band's one goal? To be able to play Deep Purple's 1972 hit "Smoke on the Water". See what I mean about the parallels between "Linda, Linda, Linda" and this upcoming film? While Bae Doona headed up her band so they could play The Blue Hearts' "Linda, Linda" these gals bring us some classic UK hard rock.
You know that this plot-line has hilarity written all over it, even though many of us are getting more than a wee bit tired of the dozens of "Let's form a band!" films that have been churned out by Japanese studios during the past few years. I'm a teensy bit concerned that Tae Kimura also hasn't been able to follow up her brilliant career defining performance in Ryosuke Hashiguchi's 2008 drama "All Around Us" with sumeothing a little more substantial than this.... but we'll have to wait to pass judgment on "Utahime until it is released in the summer of 2011. Thanks to Tokyograph for this news.