`Dolls' gets the relationships right

review A-

September 01, 2006|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

It must be some cosmic coincidence that Trust The Man and Russian Dolls are opening on the same day, for as relationship films go, the two releases are mirror images of each other. Whereas the former film, with its big-name American cast, is a contrived, heavy-handed, cliched mess, this one, with a cast collected from every corner of Europe, is heartfelt, honest, insightful and fresh, filled with winning performances, deft direction and a sense of whimsy that adds to, rather than overwhelms, its charms.

In a follow-up to his 2002 L'Auberge espagnole, French writer-director Cedric Klapisch revisits the seven college students, hailing from France, Germany, England, Belgium and Spain, who spent the first film together in a Barcelona apartment, getting to know one another during a yearlong experiment in cultural diversity.

Russian Dolls (IFC Films) Starring Romain Duris, Kelly Reilly, Audrey Tautou. Written and directed by Cedric Klapisch. Unrated. Time 125 minutes.

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