The Japanese film industry has made many musical films, but almost no Hollywood-style musicals. One reason why is Eizo Sugawa's "You Can Succeed, Too" (1964), a singing, dancing salaryman musical inspired by the Broadway hit "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." Billed by the Toho studio as Japan's "first real musical" it was also famously a flop.
Shinobu Yaguchi's sparkling new comedy "Dance With Me" features salarymen and OLs (office ladies) belting and hoofing through big production numbers. But it is also not an attempt to out-succeed "Succeed."
Yaguchi, who has been directing hit comedies from his original scripts since his 2001 breakthrough "Water Boys," has made what might be called an "anti-musical musical film."