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Something Like Happiness (2005)
"Stestí" (original title)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,244 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 35 critic

Three young adults in Most sort out feelings and responsibilities: Monika's boyfriend has left for the States, her mother wants her to join him there, and if the invitation does come, what ... See full summary »

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Title: Something Like Happiness (2005)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatiana Vilhelmová ...
Monika
Pavel Liska ...
Toník
Anna Geislerová ...
Dasha
Marek Daniel ...
Jára
Zuzana Krónerová ...
Teta
Simona Stasová ...
Soucková
Bolek Polívka ...
Soucek
Martin Huba ...
Tati
David Dolnik ...
Jiri
Marie Ludvíková ...
Heli
Vanda Hybnerová ...
Zenuska
Lucie Vackárová ...
Milenka
Josef Polásek ...
Kolotocár
Hanus Bor ...
Lekár
Roman Zach
Edit

Storyline

Three young adults in Most sort out feelings and responsibilities: Monika's boyfriend has left for the States, her mother wants her to join him there, and if the invitation does come, what should she do? Toník is a nice guy, his love for Moni is unrequited. He's trying to rebuild his family's crumbling house; a nearby factory has made an offer to buy the land. With Moni, he watches out for the two young sons of Dasha, their friend who's in a hopeless long-term affair with a married man: Dasha is at once unstable, unrealistic, neglectful of her boys, and cruel to those who help. For whom is this something like happiness? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

happiness | mental illness | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

15 September 2005 (Czech Republic)  »

Also Known As:

Something Like Happiness  »

Filming Locations:


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2.35 : 1
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Trivia

Czech Republic's official submission to 78th Academy Award's Foreign Language in 2006. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Typical Example of Contemporary Czech Cinematography
29 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The reviews here are mostly from Czechs, or Americans. My perspective is somewhat different - I was born and raised in Czechoslovakia but have lived most of my life in the U.S. Therefore, I see the movie more through the eyes of an American, yet understand the language and the circumstances the movie portrays more intimately than an American ordinarily would. Overall, I found the movie confusing and depressing. Confusing in that it's difficult to follow the plot, particularly the relationships between the various characters portrayed. I had a hard time keeping track of who's who, who lives where, who's whose father or mother, girlfriend, romantic boyfriend, platonic boyfriend, just in general I found it difficult to sort these things out. I also agree with another reviewer here that Czech cinema is going through a dark phase. It seems like so many of the movies coming out of the post-communist era are so similar. I would call them black comedies. Other movies with generally the same overall essence as this movie are Horem Padem (Up and Down), Kraska v nesnazich (Beauty in Trouble) and Zeny v pokuseni (Women in temptation). They all portray contemporary Czech society in a very depressing way, choosing dark and depressing images whenever possible. Naturally attractive women are poorly groomed and unattractively dressed; only ugly countryside is shown, ugly living conditions, etc. While there is no doubt that there are Czechs who are unmotivated, careless about their appearance, and who live in poor conditions such as portrayed in this movie, there are also those who are determined to succeed, take care of their appearance, raise happy families and live very well, but they are apparently completely ignored by today's film makers. Somehow, only the dark aspects of life are considered "art" by the contemporary Czech film makers. They seem drawn to this type of realism, as if intrigued by that which is ugly, depressing, twisted in some way. From the perspective of an American, we go to movies to be entertained, not to engage in philosophical discussions about the meaning of life or happiness. This is more the domain of European film making. Fellini's La Strada and other such movies were the pioneers of this new Czech genre focusing solely on the harsh and dark realities of life and none of its beauty or joy. This Czech realism is different from what Americans are used to. I imagine most US audiences would not find this movie appealing or entertaining. But the small group with eclectic taste that seeks to view the dark side of life and to be challenged by movies into engaging in philosophical contemplations this movie delivers big time.


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