Thursday, June 12, 2008

Beauty in Trouble (CZECH)

Kraska n Nesnazich
Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Czech Triangle Has Housewife Torn between Hubby and Sugar Daddy

In the wake of floods which devastated much of Prague, Jarda (Roman Luknár) finds himself having a hard time providing for his family. He lives with his wife, Marcela (Anna Geislerová), and kids, Kuba (Adam Misik) and Lucina (Michaela Mrvikova), in a modest apartment above his auto body chop shop. Downstairs, he trades in stolen cars, at least until the cops catch him in possession of a vehicle outfitted with a secret satellite location device.
He is then unceremoniously carted off to jail, much to the embarrassment of Marcela, who is fed up being stuck with a grease monkey this dumb and willing to break the law. So, she takes the kids to stay with her mother (Jana Brejchova), but that situation isn’t much better, because her lecherous step-dad (Jiri Schmitzer) is a dirty old man. Soon, the creep’s exposing himself to and making passes at 15 year-old Lucina, and setting unrealistic house rules, so it’s obvious that this arrangement won’t work either.
A chance for a new lease on life arrives the day Marcela ventures down to the police station to bail her bum of a husband from behind bars. Ironically, Evzen (Josef Abrhám) the dapper gent whose Volvo Jarda had pilfered just happens to be there, too, and he turns out to be as generous as she is gorgeous. Furthermore, he isn’t the type to hold grudges against wives of guys who rob him, especially if they’re attractive and willing to move in with him.
The elderly land baron has an irresistible carrot to dangle, having inherited both a farm and a vineyard in Tuscany. He’s only back in town temporarily to attend to a real estate matter which means Marcela must quickly choose between the devilish loser she knows and the well-mannered Mr. Money Bags she’s curious about.
In America, there probably wouldn’t be much of a mystery as to whom the woman would pick, but judging from Beauty in Trouble, Prague appears to be a place where females put as much stock in sexual chemistry as in money and material means. A charming adventure where a two-bit hustler enjoys equal footing with a sweet Sugar Daddy.
A beauty in trouble? Not really. Queen takes pawn, Czech-mate!

Excellent (4 stars)
In Czech with subtitles.
Running time: 110 minutes
Studio: Menemsha Films

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