Review: ‘Wonderful Summer’

A likably oddball romantic comedy from Polish helmer Ryszard Brylski.

An adolescent channels the spirit of her deceased mother for advice about love in “Wonderful Summer,” a likably oddball romantic comedy from Polish helmer Ryszard Brylski with obvious remake potential. This small charmer set in the world of funerary commemoration will open domestically in March, and is touring Polish and regional fests throughout the U.S.

Teen Kitka (a fine and fiery Helena Sujecka) keeps house for her dour stone-carver father, Edgar (Marek Kasprzyk), who has turned to drink after the death of her mother (Katarzyna Figura) in an unfortunate accident at the masonry. Although Kitka hankers after her father’s shy employee, Rudy (Cezary Lukaszewicz, appealing), her grudge-carrying maternal grandfather (Jerzy Trela) schemes to marry her to the slick heir (Antoni Pawlicki) of her father’s business rival. Meanwhile, a fortune teller (also Figura) materializes who holds the key to a mystery affecting father and daughter. Script and production design have blackly comic fun with the trappings of the burial business, with the latest mortuary fashions on view at a “NecroExpo.” Colorful production package boasts the good looks and professional polish associated with producer Opus Film.

Wonderful Summer

Poland

Production

An Opus Film production with support from the Polish Film Institute, City of Lodz. (International sales: Opus Film, Warsaw.) Produced by Lukasz Dzieciol, Piotr Dzieciol. Directed by Ryszard Brylski. Screenplay, Agata Nowak, Wojciech Lepianka.

Crew

Camera (color), Arkadiusz Tomiak; editor, Jaroslaw Kaminski; music, Mikolaj Stroinski; production designer, Maria Kostrzewska-Baron; art director, Slawomir Witczak. Reviewed on DVD, Chicago, Oct. 27, 2010. (In Reykjavik Film Festival -- Polish Focus.) Running time: 83 MIN.

With

Helena Sujecka, Katarzyna Figura, Marek Kasprzyk, Jerzy Trela, Cezary Lukaszewicz, Antoni Pawlicki, Bronislaw Wroclawski, Marcin Luczak, Jadwiga Basinska, Dariusz Basinski, Jacek Luczak.
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