A punk pouter and perky princess with the same monicker become bosom buddies in "Nana," a cute girl/girl pic from Japan. Based on a popular manga aimed at distaff Nipponese teenagers, film did boffo biz on home turf last year, capitalizing on the casting of real-life J-pop songster Mika Nakashima and airplay of soundtrack tunes. B.O. in Taiwan and Hong Kong was also solid. While the film but may be too sweet for success outside of Asia, remake potential looms large if placed in the "Coyote Ugly" mould.
Aboard a train to Tokyo to reunite with her b.f., naive Hokkaido girl Nana (Aoi Miyazaki) sits next to a leather clad punkette (Nakashima) with the same name. The independent punk is returning to Tokyo to take a second tilt at the musical bigtime. While the punk initially gives the naif instruction in the school of hard knocks, it transpires that the perky member of this duo also has lessons to teach. Yarn knowingly flirts with lesbo subtext but remains chaste. Perfs are stiff, but comfortable within the Japanese thesping tradition. Helming is tube safe. Other tech credits are pro.
Camera (color), Kazuhiro Suzuki; editor, Hidekazu Kakesu; music, Tadashi Ueda, with song "Glamorous Sky" by Ai Yazawa and Hyde ; art director, Norihiro Isoda. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (market), Feb. 11, 2006. Japanese, English dialogue. Running time: 113 MIN.