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The central character in this film is Péter, a successful businessman who runs a cynical sort of dating agency called 'S.O.S. Love'. It might better be called a seduction agency. It offers continuous assistance by means of closed-circuit television, microphones, and mobile phones to rich inarticulate men in their 'romantic' approaches to women. There are three plot strands:-
1. Péter faces a commercial challenge from a rival agency called 'All You Need is Love'. Since his 'S.O.S. Love' helps men seduce women, while 'All You Need Is Love' helps women seduce men, it is very hard to see how they can be competitors. Coherence was not a priority for the makers of this film.
2. Péter, despite being a professional seducer by proxy, is himself an unattached widower or divorcé. His little daughter, Bogi, tries to set him up with every woman who strikes her as a desirable stepmother. This strand is played for cuteness.
3. 'S.O.S. Love' has a problem client called Tomi, an obnoxious idiot whose advances to Veronika have been rebuffed. Péter makes a special effort on his behalf by hiring a country mansion for the weekend. Tomi, pretending to be its owner, will invite Veronika to stay, and the staff of the agency will pose as his relatives in order to advance his suit in a variety of situations designed to make him appear attractive.
Despite all this contrivance, the anticipated farce never gets off the ground. Perhaps the funniest aspect of "S.O.S. Szerelem!" is the very crude 'product placement'. I really could not tell whether some of its clichéd romantic scenes (e.g., the slow-motion horse-riding) were meant to be parody or not. There is an intrusive musical score of pop-songs, several of them in English. To be fair, I am not part of the target audience for this film. It is aimed at Hungarians who enjoy Hollywood 'rom-coms' and would welcome their dose of slick sentimentality free of subtitles or dubbing for once. The plot does have a twist, yet the elaborate climactic sequence in the park makes no more sense than the underlying premise (for how does 'S.O.S. Love' know that Mr Kempelen is the man being targeted by 'All You Need Is Love'?).
"S.O.S. Szerelem!" was a box-office hit in its home country. People who wish to argue that post-communist eastern Europe has embraced the crassest forms of Western commercialism will doubtless find much to support their contention in this film. The most positive conclusion I can draw from it is this: Hungary has no need of witless American trash; it is plainly quite capable of producing its own.
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