An entertaining romantic comedy about a woman who falls in love with a priest, "What Is a Man Without a Moustache?" mixes a strongly drawn cast of characters from a small Croatian backwater with a touch of the unexpected. Director Hrvoje Hribar gives a lively professional look to this good-humored film, which should enthuse mainstream regional audiences.

An entertaining romantic comedy about a woman who falls in love with a priest, “What Is a Man Without a Moustache?” mixes a strongly drawn cast of characters from a small Croatian backwater with a touch of the unexpected. Director Hrvoje Hribar gives a lively professional look to this good-humored film, which should enthuse mainstream regional audiences. Story becomes more conventional as it unwinds, however, making it a hard sell abroad.

For a father (Ivo Gregurevic) and daughter returning home with money from Germany, Croatia is “our homeland,” and it doesn’t take long for the heel-dragging daughter to succumb to the beauty of nature and a local poet and eco-warrior. Meanwhile, the beautiful, headstrong Tatjana (Zrinka Cvitesic), a young widow, makes no secret of her passion for Father Stipan (Leon Lucev). When his twin brother (also Lucev), an army general, turns up on maneuvers, along with his mistress, a government minister, the couples get mixed up for a while. Cast and director communicate a genuine warmth for these characters. Lensing is simple and direct.

What is a Man Without a Moustache?

Croatia

Production

A HRT/Fiz production. Produced by Hrvoje Hribar, Mirko Galic. Directed by Hrvoje Hribar. Screenplay, Hribar, Ante Tomic, Ivica Ivanisevic, Renato Baretic.

Crew

Camera (color), Silvio Jesenkovic; editor, Ivana Fumic; music, Tamara Obrovac. Reviewed at Sarajevo Film Festival (competing), Aug. 26, 2005. Running time: 113 MIN.

With

Leon Lucev, Zrinka Cvitesic, Ivo Gregurevic, Bojan Navojec, Jelena Lopatic, Marija Skaricic, Ivica Vidovic, Jelena Miholjevic.
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