Unlucky Dasha believes that it will help the online training - for a month visit the 30 dates, and then the man of her dreams will find her. Just to stay alive after a meeting with crazy cavalry and try to discern among them the perfect man.
I wanted to watch a movie to while away the time on a 2 hour flight, so my main considerations in choosing a title were: it should be less than 90 mins long and it should preferably be something light. This foreign title was available in the flight catalog and since the run-time was given as 87 mins and the summary seemed interesting enough, I gave it a shot.
"30 Svidaniy" or "30 Dates" starts out strongly, as Cupid (the narrator) tells the tale of plain-looking Dasha who is constantly bossed around at work and constantly on the lookout for love. Her "boyfriend" is a musician-wannabe who sticks with Dasha only because he can live off the support of Dasha and her mother. When he finally leaves her, the heartbroken Dasha tries everything from pleading to witchcraft, until finally settling on a shady online self-help program which promises to bring back the love of your life after going on 30 dates. From there, we chronicle her hilarious attempts at finding the requisite amount of dates while also playing host to her neighbor Oleg, who happens to be a professional photographer and womanizer, who ends up in her apartment under wacky circumstances. Oleg is looking for his muse, while Dasha is looking to bring her lover back. Will they find their respective persons?
The movie aims at being a romantic comedy, and it does succeed in a few places. The initial break-up scene, her chaotic workplace and her attempts at learning how to attract the opposite sex are done quite well. The actors are very good and quite natural for their roles. The story is also quite entertaining and there was a lot of scope for humour. However, the film hardly focuses on the 30 dates themselves; instead choosing to focus on Dasha's apartment and office. Moreover, the hinted romance between Dasha and Oleg seems a little forced and quite abrupt as the movie progresses. The narrative track by "Cupid" as well as the cinematography lends it an European indie-flick feel, but it falls short of the premise as the narrative is neither consistent with the screenplay nor is the movie trying to break new ground.
All in all, it is a decent movie which tries to be off-beat but comes back to scarily remind you of Hollywood rom-com movies in places. If it's worth a one time watch, watch it for the above-average performances - and also - it's a Russian rom-com!
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