6.2/10
422
11 user 11 critic

Russian Doll (2001)

Harvey, a self-doubting private investigator, plans to marry his girlfriend until he is hired to solve an adultery case and discovers the adulterer is cheating with his fiancée. Lost and ... See full summary »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ethan
...
Miriam
...
Helen Dallimore ...
Alison
...
Alan Lovell ...
Max Davenport
...
Phaedra
...
Eve Davenport (as Laurie Foel)
...
Eve's Lover (as Todd Worden)
Brigid Dixon ...
Jessica
Peter Beaumont ...
Robert
Peter Astridge ...
Alison's Lover
Alexandre Zilberman ...
Taxi driver (as Alex Zilberman)
Mark Zitserman ...
Mr. Daniel
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Storyline

Harvey, a self-doubting private investigator, plans to marry his girlfriend until he is hired to solve an adultery case and discovers the adulterer is cheating with his fiancée. Lost and dejected, Harvey quits his job and wallows in booze and the occasional odd blind date. Meanwhile, Katia, a Jewish woman from St. Petersburg, arrives in Sydney after answering an ad from an international matchmaking agency. But instead of love, she finds her prospective groom dead on arrival. Stranded in a foreign city with no one to turn to, Katia meets Ethan, a married man and Harvey's best friend. Ethan is soon scheming to figure out a way to keep Katia in the country without his wife Miriam discovering the affair. Ethan comes up with the perfect solution: he offers Harvey enough money to start writing the novel he has always dreamed of, if he agrees to marry Katia. Harvey is appalled by the idea. Ethan's marriage had been his only example that love can faithfully exist. However, since he needs the ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

blue panties | panties | upskirt | See All (3) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

14 June 2001 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Orosz menyasszony  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,722, 22 June 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$127,103, 13 January 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene when Katia takes Harvey to the synagogue for the first time, this was actually Temple Emanuel, in the suburb of Woolhara in Sydney, Australia, near Bondi. See more »

Quotes

Harvey: [about sex] She was upset and got out of hand...I enjoyed it. No, I don't think I did, it was more mechanical. Does that count?
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Soundtracks

Archive - Big Band
Chappell Recorded Music Library
Zomba Production Music Australia
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User Reviews

A Droll Doll, but a played out genre
1 July 2001 | by See all my reviews

This is another cute little romantic comedy from Australia, `Greencard' meets `Notting Hill' with a little help from the brilliant Billy Wilder comedy of 1960, `The Apartment'. Why see it? Well, it has Hugh Weaving, he of the lugubrious features, as Harvey, a private investigator, who agrees to house his mate Ethan's Russian mistress Katia and later to marry her so she can stay in the country. The film also has Natalia Novikova, a recent NIDA graduate, who really fits the bill as the imported Russian sex goddess with all the chutzpah one would expect. Despite their incompatibility, Harvey and Katia fall for each other, as is always the case in this genre.

Ethan and Katia are both jewish, which brings in the films's other distinctive feature, the Russian jewish community of Sydney's eastern suburbs (Harvey on the other hand describes himself as a Catholic Atheist). Your correspondent happened to see this film a couple of weeks after it opened in a cinema in the area usually patronised by the under 25s and the small audience seemed to be middle-aged to elderly, and speaking a fair bit of Yiddish. I guess, since the film was made in and around Bondi, they had turned up to see how they and their friends looked as extras in the restaurant, party and wedding scenes.

I note most of the American critics hated this film, but I thought it worth seeing if only for Natalia Novikova as Katia. She is absolutely gorgeous and is going to have a hard time topping this performance. Hugo Weaving usually does villains (remember the Matrix?) and seemed a little uncomfortable even as a sad sack p. i. hero, but he makes it though OK. David Wenham, normally a truly brilliant actor, was a bit smug and colourless as Ethan the wife-cheater though Rebecca Frith made the most of her role as the cheated-upon wife. I also liked Sasha Horler as Katia's Russian friend who takes a shine to Harvey.

There is plenty of appropriate folk music and ethnic cuisine, and the whole thing is reasonably entertaining, if not at the cutting edge of Australian film-making. This is a `government film' (Australian Film Finance Corporation) and the producers have played pretty safe – musn't offend anyone when the taxpayer is paying– but romantic comedy is a pretty played-out genre, even with an ethnic slant. Creates employment I guess. Still, as usual Sydney photographs well (though the colour is a bit peculiar at times) and this film will not drive tourists away. A pity most Russians are too poor at present to make the journey.


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