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Being of Russian descent and a first generation Australian, I first saw this film in the original Russian a year or two after it came out. At the time I thought it was one of the funniest things I had seen in a long long time. I saw it again when our World Movie channel broadcast it and I laughed just as hard and just as long. To understand the comedy in what appears to be a story of feminist angst you need to be Russian. There is no other way to see it. We don't see that the supposed conflict between between the heroine and her lover is that she is a manager and he is not. It's much more primal than that. It is because she EARNS more than he does. Women held managerial positions in the USSR since they first began driving tanks and tractors during the second world war. Most of us are brought up to believe that we can do just about anything, and a lot of the time we have to. So please, if you see this film, remember to laugh. Remember that Yes, Russians aren't happy unless they're miserable but the story of this film is also about the joy of rebuilding lives and relationships for both men and women and about the triumph of the human spirit over seemingly impossible odds.
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