Russian Doll

Reviewed By Stephen Groenewegen
Posted 08/26/00 16:46:30

"From Russia with Love"
3 stars (Average)

Russian Doll is a charming concoction; a simple and effective romantic comedy.

Harvey (Hugo Weaving) would rather write crime novels than be a private investigator. Especially after having to witness his girlfriend’s infidelity while on a case. Ethan (David Wenham) is Harvey’s happily married best mate. He’s just embarked on an affair with Katia (Natalia Novikova), newly arrived from Moscow.
But he needs Harvey’s help to keep her in Australia...

Russian Doll is set around Bondi, and Sydney has never looked so good thanks to cinematographer Justin Brickle. I can watch David Wenham in anything, and he saves Ethan from being despicable - to Katia, Harvey or his wife (Rebecca Frith) and daughter. Relative newcomer Novikova holds her own against Weaving as the pouting Katia, but Sacha Horler steals the film as Katia’s lecherous Russian friend who has the hots for Harvey.

I had no problems suspending my disbelief during Russian Doll. Stavros Kazantzidis (who co-wrote the screenplay) directs with a sure touch and slips all the right elements into place at just the right time. It’s a vast improvement on his last film, True Love and Chaos, and the best screenplay he’s worked on since Love and Other Catastrophes.

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