Posted by Redgrrrl26 on:
Please don't hold it against Women in Temptation that it has a fairly lamentable title. (The Czech-translated title of Women Desiring isn't much better.) And please don't hold it against (sigh) Women In Temptation that it is being billed as "the Czech answer to Sex & The City!" Because as much as I loved my Sex girls when they were on HBO, the screechy, materialistic, self-absorbed ladies they have evolved into over their two films is not what you will get in Women in Temptation, which shall henceforth be referred to as WIT.
What you will get with WIT is a funny, raunchy look at three generations of Czech women as they wrestle with relationships familial and romantic, commitment, infidelity and, yes, sex. The action kicks off quickly as marriage counselor Helena discovers that her own union of 23 years has been undone by her cheating husband. After he leaves to move in with his young girlfriend, Helena is forced to pick up the pieces and find a new way forward.
Helping Helena through this process are her college-age daughter, Laura, who cares more about saving the world than her often-ignored boyfriend Jakub, and Helena's mother, Vilma, a former actress who is working on a memoir detailing her many, many conquests. On paper, it sounds fairly formulaic: middle-aged divorcee learning to navigate the rocky waters of single life while meddling daughter and promiscuous mother push her out of her boring comfort zone and hilarity ensues.
But happily writer-director Jirí Vejdelek manages to side-step cliché. Although each person's flaws are poked fun at in turn, the film always treats its characters with respect and genuine affection. (Well, OK, except for Helena's ex-husband. He sports the Czech equivalent of a mullet, the cinematic short-hand for "tool," and pretty much acts like a buffoon throughout.) Unlike what seems to be the trend in American films, Helena is not forced to be an emasculating ball-buster who drove her husband away and must be punished through a series of humiliating experiences until she finds redemption with a new man. (A smart, strong, 45-year-old woman-what a concept!)
It's funny, smart, dirty, and has one of the most awesome cougar-grandmas ever captured on film. If this is your cup of tea, then I'd advise you to take an exceptionally long lunch break on Thursday, February 3rd for the final scheduled screening of this film. What are you waiting for? Go!
Women In Temptation shows on Thursday, February 3rd at 1pm at the Arlington Theatre.