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European-American Topics - Cinema - Russian Dolls

Audrey Tautou in
Russian Dolls

For city lovers only
By Jérôme Patoux
posted July 10, 2006

Remember the Auberge Espagnole? Aah… the good old days of being twenty some, abroad and confused, when carelessness, idealism and disappointment were our daily bread. Well, the good old days are not over, as Cédric Klapisch seems to tell us in his sequel Russian Dolls. They have changed for sure. Friends got married, or pregnant, or both. Some moved far away, or disappeared; others should have. Getting a job and a real life seems to have become, somehow, a priority. But some things will never change.

Romain Duris is back, more confused and more annoying than ever. Friends, jobs, girlfriends, past and present, apartment rentals and owners, one-night stands, family, new responsibilities, all seems to collide for the better and for the worse. The good thing is that it takes us on a journey throughout Europe, on a tour of some of the finest cities on the map. Saint Petersburg, London, Paris… Some shots are, of course, unnecessary (never mind the Eiffel Tower), but others are too good to miss. If you have ever been a restless European traveler and lover of trains, buses, and last-minute squatting deals, you will definitely find yourself in this new movie, as you might have found yourself in the Auberge Espagnole. Definitely amused by “trans-frontier cosmopolitanism” and the quirky situations arising when cultural differences collide, Klapisch knows how to entertain with gusto.

With all the main characters reunited and Romain Duris, in particular, as Xavier, one wonders if Cédric Klapisch is following in François Truffaut’ steps with his favorite actor Jean-Pierre Léaud, alias Antoine Doinel. As the movie closes, we cannot help thinking that Xavier will be back on the screen in another 5 years, still unhappy, and still messing up one relationship after another. Aah… the good old days.

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