Progressive and talented Natasha and Roma dream of a European wedding by the sea - but Natasha's stepfather procured a different scenario. Rough official of the city administration ... See full summary »
Three Russian expatriates are loving life and seducing women in New York City until they meet up with Saint Valentine in disguise and he curses them with impotence until they learn about true love. No love - no sex.
I was quite surprised how low is the average evaluation of this film & also that nobody reviewed it before. This is a very nice film & strikingly original. I have seen shopping centers in as diverse places as Lviv, Rio de Janeiro (3 of them), Bangkok and Rouen, not to mention Denton, Texas. I have never seen before a film such that the action takes place almost exclusively in a shopping center. In ancient Greece there was the requirement of unity of the time (short time) and place (one place) in theater plays. In modern theaters and films this is considered a hampering limitation. The script author and the director of this film have turned the limitation to an advantage! The texts such as "Day 2" increase the suspense.
Nonna Grishaeva plays the main female role of Ira, a girl who ostensibly is at the bottom of the shopping center hierarchy, putting bar codes on packages and even sweeping a floor. She is cheerful, friendly to everybody & helpful to other shopping center employees, winning them over quickly. She soon has her designs on Vadim ... We find from Nonna Grishaeva's biography that she was born is Odesa and is now a very successful theater actress in Moscow, apart from playing in Russian films. This is clearly a loss to the Ukrainian theater and to Ukrainian film making.
Pyotr Fyodorov plays Vadim, doing also an outstanding job. Like Ira, Vadim is cheerful, friendly and helpful, but with a complicated past. He lives in the shopping center and ventures outside only in a dire emergency; only in a second part of the film we are briefly told why. In his private life he is very thoughtful, actually excessively careful. Trying to win him, Ira has to be very thoughtful herself - which fits her real nature not only the role she has assumed in the shopping center - as well as really soft as far as Vadim is concerned.
Other actors play quite well too. The real names of the actors are not connected to their roles, so here are some names of the roles: the actor playing Vova; the actress playing Lisa who quickly becomes a real friend of Ira & who is great in the scene "let Lisa out"; the actress playing Grandma Nina who actually is Vadim's grandmother by courtesy only; the actor playing Vitaly, a nasty character who in the beginning of the film as the shopping center manager cries "I can fire you all!"; the corrupt but quite funny official performing marriage ceremonies; the boy playing Misha.
The film is played in Russian with English subtitles. There is only one error when Vadim tells Ira "I can show you the cheque" when he means the receipt. Sometimes the translations are ingenious such as "Pushek" into "Fluffy".
This film can be currently seen on the Singapore Airlines flights between San Francisco and Seoul Incheon. Singapore Airlines provide a much larger choice of films for their passengers than most airlines. Flying from San Francisco to Incheon and back, I have see also a Canadian, a Danish and a German film. They were all good, but this film is a clear winner over them.
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