The Three Men of Melita Zganjer

Reviewed at Cinequest San Jose Film Festival, Feb. 25, 2000. Running time: 97 MIN.

Reviewed at Cinequest San Jose Film Festival, Feb. 25, 2000. Running time: 97 MIN.

With: Mirjana Rogina, Goran Navojec, Sanja Vejnovic, Suzana Nikolic, Filip Sovagovic, Ivo Gregurevic, Ljubomir Keredes, Luka Peros, Rene Bitorajac.

A low-key charmer from Croatia, writer-helmer Snjezana Tribuson’s soph feature, “The Three Men of Melita Zganjer,” steers its awkward but hopeful heroine through some droll misadventures before she finds safe harbor in an equally romance-challenged Mr. Right’s arms. Ingratiating comedy is aud-pleasing fest fare, with tube sales potential in select territories.

Pretty, plump thirtysomething cafe owner Melita (Mirjana Rogina) pines for the kind of love that runs rampant on her favorite Brazilian telenovela. But she’s too skittish to flirt, and misinterprets pastry chef Janko’s (Goran Navojec) stammering nervousness as indifference. Divided into three “chapters,” pic finds her making two wrong turns — with a mate-dumped cop who wants only a couch to sleep on, and with the visiting Brazilian soap star she adores — that inevitably lead back to gorgeous Janko. Sweet, whimsical tenor is abetted by small-scale slapstick, brief animated segs and confectionery design schemes. Buoyant perfs include amusing turns by Sanja Vejnovic and Suzana Nikolic as Marita’s flatmates, a semi-abrasive femme cop and bubbly blond bombshell, respectively. Zagreb-shot feature’s tech aspects are modest but decent.

The Three Men of Melita Zganjer

(CROATIA)

Production: A Kvadar production. Produced by Sanja Vejnovic, Irina Damic, Vesna Mort, Josip Barlovic. Directed, written by Snjezana Tribuson.

Crew: Camera (color), Goran Mecava; editor, Marina Barac; art director, Veliomir Domitrovic; music, Darko Rundek; costumes, Vesna Plese.

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