From a masterpiece to a soulless pipeline in 4 films.
In 2010, I was a carefree student. I hung out for several days without sleep, walked with the girls and miraculously passed exams without preparation. It would seem that a film about nostalgic uncles and the problems of marriage will not interest such a young man.
But I fell in love with the comedy «Quartet I» — as did my fellow students. We laughed at the man who refused Jeanne Friske, at the overnight stay in Beldyazhki and at the collection of lute music.
The next parts were not so good, but I still hoped for a new film. I thought that «Quartet I» would give out at least a couple of good jokes and remind me of the glorious days. Alas, «Simple Pleasures» finally turned the series into a pipeline.
Cinema for those who love jokes about lezginka
The new «What Men Talk About» is still a set of sketches that are connected by a simple plot. The quartet meets in the center of Moscow and sees that Sasha is being tormented by something. It turns out that they want to buy his business for fabulous money, but the entrepreneur loves his job and does not see himself as a rich pensioner.
There is no solution yet, it needs to be found. Therefore, the heroes set off on a journey along the Garden Ring.
The through story is as simple as possible, as if it was invented half an hour before filming. But Quartet I is not expected to be a dramatic saga, but cool sketches and philosophical dialogues. Alas, they are bad.
Here is an example of humor. Passing by a closed restaurant, Slava recalls how he hung out there with Caucasians and taught them to play associations. We are shown a spacious room where bearded men sit at a table and pick up an association for the word «refinement». A couple of minutes of painful thought — and the answer is found: «refinement.»
After such a success, Caucasians jump up, dance lezginka and shoot at the ceiling with a pistol. Funny? To make the viewer go crazy with delight, after 10 minutes the joke will be repeated.
But the heroes see an adult store and remember the fairy tale about the toys that escaped from the shelves and chased the child. Everyone is interested in what kind of toys would come out of these doors. Then they show a sketch where a man runs from an erotic monster, but finds himself at a dead end and screams furiously.
Nine out of ten jokes are about this level.
Nostalgia didn’t work either. A depressed Nagiyev sometimes appears in the frame, who is no longer pleased with food, sleep and sex. The actor plays decently and says the right things, but there is still no emotional response. Nagiyev appears at the wrong moment, his speeches are not illustrated, and the metaphors are banal.
Do you want to nostalgic about carefree youth? Turn up the song «Return» by Ekaterina Yashnikova and cry in a couple of minutes. But Nagiyev and the «Quartet I» even 1.5 hours are not enough to hook.
«Shit, shit, shit — and again, not shit»
There are bright moments. Take, for example, the joke about the Bi-2 concert, which the heroes miss. A year later, Shura and Lev will be lit again, and the quartet will definitely come to this performance. «What can happen in a year?» — the guys say and look pointedly at the camera. Funny and painful at the same time.
Sketches with a psychologist are also cool. The guys constantly pronounce a phrase in the spirit of «any psychologist will confirm this.» Then “any psychologist” appears in the frame and says something absurd. For example, about a client who became depressed because of a donated car. She was expecting a BMW, but she got an Audi. “If you knew what kind of nonsense people are worried about.”
The end is good too. The arc with the sale of the business was completed touchingly, someone in the hall even burst into tears.
There are just too few positives in the film, and the authors understood this. They even came up with sketches with Garik Kharlamov, who smashes the script. His quote perfectly describes the film: «Shit, shit, shit — and once, not shit». Funny self-irony, but it doesn’t save Simple Pleasures.
Only if you are madly fanatic of the Quartet I. The rest is better to review the first part of «What Men Talk About».