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Saturday, March 18, 2017

MOSKVA SLEZAM NE VERIT / MOSCOW DOES NOT BELIEVE IN TEARS (1980)

Few tears, much schmaltz . . . even more hooey. Is Russian version of typical Amerikanski 3-Girl pic: THREE KOPEKS IN FOUNTAIN. Tricked out with time jump as 20-something gal pals go from idealistic late ‘50s Khrushchev days to compromise & disappointment under Leonid Brezhnev's USSR and deal with hitting the big 4-0. Such girls! Such boyfriends! Such table-talk & meals! Such overacting! Especially early as over-age stars feign peppy youth. So peppy! (If film in English, drek quotient much easier to spot.) From writer/director Vladimir Menshov, stiff, static, unimaginative, like new Moscow housing project. (In smeary SovColor & NonWide Screen.) Plenty forced laughter; plenty weeps; plus one gal gets to have it all! Job, daughter, manly man showing up out of the blue (with plenty hairy chest & plenty sober disposition). If only he can work thru male chauvinist instincts. Perhaps film look dated now, da? Nyet!; always lousy. But, was 1980, USA boycott Moscow Olympics. Good time to see that Ruskies just regular folk with joy, sorrow & nice apartment. Hey, they even make bad chick flick. Nostrovia!

DOUBLE-BILL: Hard to pick a worst scene out of so many, but a picnic pastorale, loaded with colorful characters grilling shish-kebab will do. It’s like the bohemian shindig Rock Hudson takes older, uptight new girl Jane Wyman to in ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS/’55 . . . minus the artistry of Douglas Sirk.

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