I saw this film at the 2006 Karlovy Vary Film Festival. It had been quite big on the film festival circuit, but I do not think that it has been, or will be release in America. Which is really too bad.

Shortly before heading off to the Czech Republic I had been talking with my Uncle about American's general prejudice against anything not Hollywood. He responded with the insightful comment that "people just want to be entertained." I was tempted to start talking about the joys of watching Godard, but I doubted that would convince him right away. (later I was talking to him about the similarities between the French Avant-Garde and the Marx Brothers, to which I got a blank stare). After seeing this movie, I knew it was exactly what would convince him.

The movie is essentially an engenius romantic comedy a la 'The Rules of the Game' or 'The Hop Pickers,' mixed with an insightful view into the nature of our social system a la 'Airplane!' or 'Un Chien Andalou,' or really any Marx Brothers film. What I really mean by that is the film doesn't make sense, and does so both beautifully and hilariously. Like all good films I could not explain the plot to you if I tried (he cuts off his finger, loses it, finds it, reattaches it, but its someone elses finger, they switch fingers, he falls in love, a character from a magazine soap opera comes alive, the girl he loves start collecting plastic bottles, her mountain of plastic bottles grows gigantic, everyone grows a tail except him, there's a happy ending), what's really important is that it covers a number of themes that only brilliant films can really cover well.

First of all, everything is always ridiculously chaotic. This is important if one is going to have a good romantic comedy (which is why they are so few and far between). I'm convinced that the Rules of the Game is not brilliant because of its criticism of the elites, but the fact that there is a 20 minute chase scene in the end involving 8 different participants (I didn't actually count). Similarly it's the key ingrediant of surrealist comedies like Airplane! and Un Chien Andalou (don't argue with my classificiation system).

Second, everyone seems lost all the time in their own little world. This is why Julia Roberts doesn't make good Romantic Comedies and a film with as ridiculous a premise as "The Girl Next Door" (which I thought I would hate), was amazing. Romantic Comedies are good when they are about a disorienting mixing of two people's worlds, not when they're about people looking emotional in the moonlight, and children saying funny things (Sleepless in Seattle). When the dopey intelligent guy in 'The Hop Pickers' starts going on about how much he loves this girl, and she responds by saying 'good good good' while trying to figure out how she can take advantage of his living situation, you really feel like you love the two characters (again, i don't think this movie is released in America, I suggest anyone who can get their hands on it to do so), when Tom Cruise is talking to that kid in 'Jerry Macguire' you really feel like you could hit him.

Lastly, it takes the premise from 'Un Chien Andalou' and any Marx Brothers film, that everything kind of makes sense, but the order of things is constantly breaking down (Un Chien Andalou in a more technical way). You recognize Pod's journey enough that when the taxi driver suddenly becomes the Ghost Taxi Driver, all you can do is laugh.

Its not available on Amazon. If you want to buy the movie try here

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