Big in Japan ★★★½

Reminiscent of the Beatles movie A Hard Day's Night, this is a film about a real Seattle grunge band, "Tennis Pro" and their madcap misadventures in Tokyo. In the film, at least, they're portrayed as a tired veteran band given the opportunity to invigorate their careers by going to Japan where their kind of music might be appreciated. What ensues is a comic adventure, fish-out-of-water story where the three members of the band cavort entertainingly and gradually catch on with their audiences. I had never heard of this band, of course. But I did enjoy their energetic performances which delivered some nice songs (an impromptu cello solo by lead singer/bassist Peterson was especially poignant.) Obviously "Tennis Pro" the group can't be compared to the Beatles in fame; but this feel-good film does capture the same sort of fun that the seminal '60s film did. Director Jeffcoat, working with a small crew, has made a little gem of a rock music film.