MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: -1

This recent Golden Globe winner for best foreign film of 1996 from Czechoslovakia is a real family affair. It stars screenwriter Zdenek Sverak, with his grandson, five year-old Andrej Chalimon, playing the title character. The film is also directed by Andrej's real-life father, Jan. It's set in 1989, as the Russian occupation of Czechoslovakia is making life for the Czechs miserable. Sverak plays Frantisek Louka, a middle-aged bachelor and talented cellist whose sole source of income is playing at funerals in Prague. For a generous sum, financially strapped Louka agrees to marry a Russian woman with no strings attached because she needs Czech papers to avoid being sent back to Russia. However, he doesn't know the woman has a five-year-old boy, Kolya, until she escapes to Germany, leaving the boy behind. There are plenty of laughs as this totally clueless bachelor is forced into parenthood. At first, the angry, bewildered little boy rebels against his guardian, but gradually the two become best friends. English subtitles do not detract from the story, and a wonderful musical score adds richness to the film. Little Kolya will capture your heart as he transforms Louka into a deeply caring man experiencing the joys and heartaches of love for the first time in his life. And that's what Kolya is - an engaging and unique love story.

When Louka gets lonely, he calls up an assortment of girlfriends, all married, who willingly cheat on their husbands. While there is no on-screen sex, Louka is shown in bed with some of them. Obviously, Louka likes women on a very superficial level. He looks down the blouse of one, lifts another's skirt with his cello bow, and makes crude remarks as he passes a girl on the street. When Kolya first comes to live with him, he walks in on Louka and a girlfriend in bed. As the man and boy begin to bond, Louka finds himself less interested in sexual liaisons. Several obscenities, many crudities, plus four regular profanities mar the dialogue. The bedroom scenes and offensive dialogue prevent our recommendation.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Miramax Films, 18 E. 48th St., NY, NY 10017

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (10) times - Mild 8, Moderate 2

Obscene Language: Several (5) times - s-word 3, other 2

Profanity: Few (4) times - Regular (C 2, J 1, J-C 1)

Violence: None

Sex: None, but implied a few times

Nudity: Twice (young boy in bathtub)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (man looks down woman's blouse, lifts skirt, makes crude remarks, bedroom scenes)

Drugs: Drunkenness once

Other: Adultery treated neutrally

Running Time: 92 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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