RUSSIAN DOLLS Director: Cedric Klapisch FRANCE-U.K.| 2005. SUBTITLED. COLOUR. DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO. 125 MIN. Book cinema tickets French director Cedric Klapisch scored a hit with ‘L’auberge espagnole’ (‘Pot Luck’), a likeable romantic comedy about a diverse group of twenty-somethings who shared a flat in Barcelona. This sequel takes up the stories of the same characters five years on, when they are reunited in St. Petersburg for the wedding of one of their number. As in the earlier film, the centre of attention is Xavier (Romain Duris), a former economics student who’s now a struggling freelance writer. Based in Paris, Xavier still sees ex-girlfriend Martine (Audrey Tautou), and comes to share a flat with his lesbian friend Isabelle (Cecile De France), who continues to offer advice on how to handle women. A writing assignment in London brings Xavier back in touch with old flame Wendy (a delightful Kelly Reilly), but she’s experiencing her own difficulties in ending an affair with a violent stoner. Having to work for a living and facing the terrifying prospect of reaching thirty, most members of this motley crew are a little more mature. Somewhat surprisingly, it is William (Kevin Bishop), Wendy’s decidedly uncouth brother, who has made the most decisive move. After falling for a Russian ballerina, he learned the language, moved to St. Petersburg and is now marrying the love of his life. Commitment also becomes an issue for Xavier, who is forced to confront his feelings for Wendy during the raucous, alcohol-fuelled wedding celebrations. Filming in a freewheeling style that reflects the chaos in the lives of his protagonists, Klapisch once again presents a generous and amusing account of the eternal search for love.Peter Walsh. Director: Cedric Klapisch FRANCE-U.K.| 2005. SUBTITLED. COLOUR. DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO. 125 MIN.