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U raljama zivota (1984)

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This movie, based in part on the popular novel, tells two tales about modern women. One is Stefica Cvek, average and lonely girl who is desperately trying to find the man of her dreams. The... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gorica Popovic ...
Vitomira Loncar ...
Stefica Cvek
Bogdan Diklic ...
Miodrag Krivokapic ...
Semka Sokolovic-Bertok ...
Tetka - Aunt from Bosanska Krupa
Sofer (as Miki Manojlovic)
Velimir 'Bata' Zivojinovic ...
Koraljka Hrs ...
Branka Cvitkovic ...
Vladimir Rupcic ...
Enes Kisevic ...
Radko Polic ...
Zdenka Hersak ...
Pipova mama


This movie, based in part on the popular novel, tells two tales about modern women. One is Stefica Cvek, average and lonely girl who is desperately trying to find the man of her dreams. The other story is about a woman director who is making the movie abozt Stefica and has the same problem. Written by Dragan Antulov <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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based on novel | See All (1) »







Release Date:

4 April 1984 (Yugoslavia)  »

Also Known As:

In the Jaws of Life  »

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User Reviews

A noteworthy predecessor to the 'Bridget Jones' franchise

Zagrebian lass Štefica has been struggling with overweight and in relationships with men long before arrival of Bridget Jones.

Štefica Cvek is a typist, plump and slightly depressive, and inexperienced when it comes to men. And that is the most important 'territory', at least according to her friend Marijana, who considers herself an expert for the subject, providing an abundance of advices and tips. Marijana upholds that having blokes is the most important thing in life, and that Štefica simply lacks sex appeal. On the other side, Štefica is constantly getting advices from her old aunt, whom she lives with. Aunt descends from a provincial town in neighbouring Bosnia, having rather different life philosophy, henceforth delivering her advices through wise and often peculiar anecdotes from her homeland.

Meanwhile, Štefica fights her sadness and suppresses her grief resorting to excessive eating and hopes that all her problems will be over as soon as she meets the right man. All her girlfriends are already in love; Ela is getting married for the fourth time, even Anuška has found a soul mate.

Will Štefica remain single, or there is a happy end for her, so common in 'chick flicks'? Story about Štefica came into existence long before nowadays popular 'chick lit' novels and their principal heroines. Dubravka Ugrešić's 1981 novel was titled Štefica Cvek in the Jaws of Life, a.k.a. Patchwork Novel. And a patchwork it is indeed. Namely, authoress trips between the stereotypes of popular romance novels and standards of the genre, and plays with its characters. However, this novel is by no means a typical romance novel. Ugrešić skillfully points out all the problems with such novels, comparing her writing with the work of a seamstress; cuts out, rummages, writes additions, inserts citations, short folk proverbs, considers her own writing process...

Based on this very popular novel, a screenplay for the movie U raljama života (1984) (In the Jaws of Life) was co-written by its director Rajko Grlić and Dubravka Ugrešić. And, while in the novel authoress is struggling with Štefica's character, in the movie her role was taken by directress Dunja, who is shooting a TV series about Štefica. Vitomira Lončar in the leading role of Štefica meets three men, all played by among the most popular Yugoslavian actors of the era: Bata Živojinović, Miki Manojlović and Rade Šerbedžija.

However, Štefica has not found happiness with any of the three, and you will have to find yourself why not? (Review translated from Kristina G.'s Croatian language posting in her theatre web log

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