A story of a Russian clarinetist living in Los Angeles, whose life changes when a young local car thief passes himself off as his long-lost son.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Uncle Fedya
Kenny (as Joel Moore)
Mr. Kleeman
Mom's Boyfriend (as Michael Edward Rose)
Fedya's Wife


THE OPTIMIST is the story of Max, a Russian clarinetist living in Los Angeles, whose life changes when Bo, looking for a hideout after a botched car heist, passes himself off as Max's long-lost son. Complications ensue when Bo falls in love with his newfound "sister" Lolita. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and drug use | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 March 2009 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

The Optimist  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Version of Starshiy syn (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

An awful film adaptation of an genial play
3 November 2013 | by See all my reviews

Be warned, there's a much, much stronger movie based on the same play. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073743/

This is not that I'm not into remakes, but it's just bad. Everything is bad - music (balalaikas - of course, such a fresh choice, violins), acting. The depiction of Russian emigrants is so stereotypic that this even surprises - but which is way more surprising is that they are emigrants at all. The thing is that the play is about human relationships and the story can be told about an old man with ruined life of literally any nationality. He could be 100% WASP American, he could be an African American, he could be whoever, but being a very lubberly depicted Russian emigrant - well, this actually just distracts.

Which is an excellent yet sad example of how even a genial play can be ruined.

Once again, watch the movie I've gave link to. It is masterpiece congenial to the play.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Pictures of the Cast dahle_model
Final Release Date? artistangel91
saw them filming it... opsx
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