The Bitch’s Diary

Though it benefits from the star power of male lead Karel Roden and topped the domestic box office after a strong late April bow, well-made weepie "The Bitch's Diary" is otherwise languid to the point of torpor. Regional biz will be nothing to bitch about, but item will stay close to home.

With:
With: Danica Jurcova, Karel Roden, Marek Vasut, Tomas Matonoha, Miroslav Etzler.

Though it benefits from the star power of male lead Karel Roden and topped the domestic box office after a strong late April bow, well-made weepie “The Bitch’s Diary” is otherwise languid to the point of torpor. Regional biz will be nothing to bitch about, but item will stay close to home.

Political science major and Elfriede Jelinek scholar Karolina (Danica Jurcova) takes up with rich yet remote mystery man Alex (Roden), who’s conflicted to the point of introversion by, among other things, a Jesuit upbringing. “We can have a relationship,” he claims earnestly, “just not the one you want.” So Karolina resolves to treat men the way Alex has treated her; the most amusing of her subsequent trysts involves kinky politician Jarmil (Marek Vasut). After a decade off, “Time of the Servants” helmer Irena Pavlaskova continues in the vein of relationship melodrama. Unfortunately, the emotions of these pretty people are rarely plumbed, leaving a surface somnambulism that is difficult to fathom. Tech package is stylish for an effort that reps the softest imaginable softcore.

The Bitch's Diary

Czech Republic

Production: A Bioscop release (in the Czech Republic) of a Starlite Films production. (International sales: Simply Cinema, Prague.) Produced by Jaroslav Nietsch, Petr Keller, Jiri Jurtin. Executive producer, Dan Severa. Directed by Irena Pavlaskova. Screenplay, Pavlaskova, Barbara Nesvadbova, based on the novel by Nesvadbova.

Crew: Camera (color), F.A. Brabec; editor, Alois Fisarek; music, Jiri Chlumecky; art director, Jiri Sternwald; costume designer, Jaroslava Pecharova. Reviewed on DVD, Sydney, April 28, 2007. (In Finale Plzen Film Festival.) Original title: Bestiar. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: With: Danica Jurcova, Karel Roden, Marek Vasut, Tomas Matonoha, Miroslav Etzler.

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