Pert Finnish comedy about disaffected wives and partners who form a soccer team and take on their menfolk’s seventh-division crew for a bet offers no surprising moves, but plays a fair, clean game with few penalties. Bigscreen debut for TV-helmer Joona Tena has kept the local B.O. turnstiles busy since its January 2006 debut, earning a hefty (in Finnish terms) $2 million-plus, and could take the field in Nordic countries. Script is ripe for remake possibilities.
It’s summer 2005, and the men on team HeMan reveal they’ll be spending June 2006 in Germany watching the World Cup. Furious Anna (Minna Haapkyla), the g.f. of goalie Pete (Petteri Summanen), hopes to teach them a lesson by making a wager: If her team of neglected partners can beat the boys in a game by the end of the summer, then the men will have to forswear football forever; if the girls lose, they’ll pay for the German jaunt. Turns out, Anna was once a junior soccer star, able to recruit pro-player Carita (Laura Malmivaara) and her professional coach dad (Taneli Makela) to help out. Tech package is pro but undistinguished.