The Girls (1962)
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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.