Lásky jedné plavovlásky (Loves of a Blonde)
Classic Movie Review: The gentle 1965 comedy that set Miloš Forman on the road to Hollywood
Writers: Miloš Forman, Jaroslav Papoušek, Ivan Passer
Starring: Hana Brejchová, Vladimír Pucholt, Vladimír Menšík
Before he became a Hollywood bigshot, Miloš Forman was a master of the understated comedy of social failure, and his breakout film is a small rough jewel, all the more sparkling for being unpolished. Eager to secure male company for the imported factory girls in a small industrial town, the authorities arrange an Army deployment that turns out to consist of balding reservists. Pretty, quietly romantic Andula (Hana Brejchová) opts instead for a sweet night with a visiting dance-band pianist (Vladimír Pucholt). Calling on him unannounced in Prague, she ends up in custody of his parents, who can't decide if they're more dismayed by the presumptuous girl or their gadabout son.
Co-written with Forman's regular early collaborators Ivan Passer (who also emigrated to the States) and Jaroslav Papoušek (who went on to make the popular Homolka comedies) and using a mostly nonprofessional cast, Loves has an intimate, improvised feel - it seems less filmed than captured. A trio of reservists' clunky, argumentative pursuit of Andula and her friends at a dance is a pointillist riot of boredom, desire and bored desire; the closing family row is painfully funny in the truest sense, a deadpan slapstick that turns terribly sad. Unlike the same team's subsequent Hoří, má panenko! (The Firemen's Ball), the social (and socialist) critique informs but never gets the better of the film's gentle comic empathy.
Runtime: 1 hour, 28 minutes
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