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Hello! How Are You? (2011)

Buna! Ce faci?

Starring:

Adrian Paduraru

Adriana Trandafir

Ana Popescu

Antoaneta Cojocaru

Dana Voicu

Ioan Ionescu

Ioana Abur

Ionel Mihailescu

Jordi Garcia

Paul Diaconescu

Directed by:

Alexandru Maftei

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 105 minutes

US Certificate: NA UK Certificate: NA

Country: Romania

In the great tradition of Romanian romantic sex comedies (don’t ask me to give any examples – only because I have a bad memory), Hello! How Are You? (best shouted)  is set around the premises of a dry cleaners and the randy characters who frequent it. The owner Gabriela (Voicu) is stuck in a passionless marriage to Gabriel (Mihailescu), a musician, but both are engaged in slightly more risque online activities. Their teenage son (Diaconescu) is a natural Lothario who’s beating them off with a stick, Gabriela’s sexy employee (Popescu) is also very successful with the opposite sex and Gabriel’s married colleague (Ionescu) is making his way through his orchestra.

The interweaving stories are excellently executed as they steer clear of cliches, have an Eastern European grittiness to them and are unpredictable and satisfyingly. The overall tone is a jolly and upbeat one and mingled with some great burst-out-laughing moments which can’t fail to get you smiling. I think the perception of love in Eastern Europe from us close-minded Westerners is one of marriages borne out of pregnancy and oppression – hopefully this will go some way to addressing the stereotype and creating a new sex tourism boom for the country.

There’s is a little bit lacking in some of the characterisation and its progression – the teenager undergoes a massive personality change half way through – and some match-ups are a little hard to believe because of the different leagues some of the characters are blatantly in. However, if this is how it works in Romania, I’m off their as soon as possible to get me a Romanian beauty queen.

Overall, Hello! How Are You? compares really favourably to multi-stranded romantic comedies to come from Hollywood recently, like Garry Marshall’s equally horrible Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, and it’s worth giving this rewarding movie a try.

It's Got: Engaging multistranded stories, laugh out loud moments, a lack of peasants

It Needs: Slightly better casting and character progression

Alternatives:

Heartbreaker, Tales of the Golden Age , Valentine's Day

Summary

A refreshingly different romantic comedy that paints love in Romanian in a new light.

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