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One of the most popular Soviet comedies of the 60th is still wonderful
G_a_l_i_n_a22 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
One of the most popular Soviet films of the 60th, "Devchata" is a perfect example of how to make a wonderful movie in the most difficult genre of comedy/romance. "Devchata" is funny, heartwarming, charmingly naive yet involving and moving. I saw it first when I was 5 or 6 and my grandma used to take me with her to the movies few times a week. I've seen it no less than 20 times, perhaps and I still love it. Nadezda Rumiantseva gives a star making performance as a teenager Tosya who came to work as a cook in a logging company located in the distant Siberain village with the long and snowy winter. On her first day, she meets Ilya (Nikolai Rybnikov), the most popular and attractive guy who is equally known for his success on the working place and with the girls. Ilya makes the bet with the friends that the new cook will fall in love with him in no later than two weeks. Young Tosya, naive, spontaneous, with the huge wide open eyes, absolutely inexperienced in the game of flirting and seduction will teach "the first guy in town" a lesson or two on how to treat the girl and very soon he finds himself desperately in love with her. Along with the main story, there are several sub-plots concerning Tosya's friends and roommates. The film is called "The Girls", remember? "Devcahta" is short, only 92 minutes but its characters are well written and acted and the jokes are funny. The nice melodious songs by Aleksandra Pachmutova add to the atmosphere of youth, hope, friendship, and readiness for love that radiate from the screen.
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...simply wonderful Contains Spoiler
lauralovesmoscow12 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
First of all I was very sad to see there have been no comments on this movie! "Devchata" is classics now and perhaps one of the best movies with Rumyantseva and Ribnikov. The movie is made in good old Russian times therefore deeply reflecting the Soviet passion for work and relations between people. The main character, the cook, falls in love with a guy who is working and living in the same town/village. And not just a guy, but the best worker and indeed most popular one! However it turns out he made a bet that she would fall in love with him. Truly offended she breaks up with him. Nevertheless, he falls in love with her too and the movie has a happy ending. I cannot say it is just a love story, it is a movie that makes you laugh, has nice songs, beautiful scenery and great actors. Rybnikov has been one of the biggest stars in Russian cinema who passed away very tragically as many other famous and loved by people national actors. This movie worth seeing!!!!!!!
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A sophisticated romantic comedy
bigburlybear26 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This is a very lighthearted comedy set in a forestry working settlement in Siberia. All the single workers live together in dormitories, and during the day they also work together.

Our 18 year old heroine, Tosya, has just arrived from Crimea, where it is not as cold, and is rather naïve, and rather unprepared for the climate and the situation.

Ilya and Filya, are single young men and rivals - they are best workers in the settlement, and leaders of their teams. And being young men they enjoy competing with each other in everything - including love. So, when Tosya first makes her appearance, Ilya and Filya make a bet for a fur hat, that she will fall in love with Ilya within two weeks.

Thus the comedy starts, and follows the trajectory of many Romantic Comedies.

What sets this from other Romantic Comedies is that is manages to avoid maudlin sentimentality, and also makes many observations and subtle social criticisms.

Love and marriage is not put on a pedestal, and married life is not the "happy ever after". The girls have discussions about what love is, and what is sufficient for love Vera has separated husband, and we are introduced to her burning his letters in the dormitory oven.

Nadya has reached the age of 28 and is unmarried, so is accepting marriage to Ksan Ksanych, an unattractive manager: the comment is that at that age, a woman would be happy to marry a goat. Although to be fair to Ksan, he obviously loves her and dotes on her in his awkward way.

Anfisa, the most beautiful woman in the settlement,realises that although all the boys like spending time with her, the do not necessarily love her, but want her as a trophy.

An example of the social commentary is that Nadya's finané, Ksan, is delaying their marriage until they have a flat to move into together. Housing shortages were a common problem at the time in the Soviet Union and such a decision was common. And sometimes people would have marriages delayed a couple years due to random decisions of the local authorities.

The only criticism of this film is technical - there are some editing inconsistencies, but it is a gem of a film.
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