5 September 2013 8:31 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Opera is the subject, medium and language of Jiri Menzel’s latest comedy, revolving around a production of “Don Giovanni” by a Czech small-town troupe. Bursting with energy from the get-go, pirouetting through a blizzard of inventive gags spun at a terrific pace, “The Don Juans” unsurprisingly flags somewhat in extending its setup, with little infusion of new material, until the final curtain. The Mozart remains a source of real vitality, but what starts as whirlwind wit eventually grows repetitive. Still, the first 45 minutes generate a buoyant high that could carry the entire film for many auds.

The opera director Vitek (Jan Hartl) functions obviously as a likably sardonic, mockingly modest version of Menzel himself, as partly confirmed by his direct addresses to the camera; he attributes his success to the fact that he never took opera very seriously and doesn’t want to do anything original. A quick montage »


- Ronnie Scheib

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