Planet Single (Planeta Singli) (15th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival) Review
Warsaw, the present day. Tomek (Maciej Stuhr) is host of a popular television talk show, which includes comedy skits including puppets. Ania (Agnieszka Więdłocha) is a music teacher, single and looking for love via Internet dating. Sitting in a bar on Valentine's Day waiting for a date to turn up, she meets Tomek. There discussing his show with his producer, he pretends to be her date. Not a watcher of his show, she doesn't recognise him. Not impressed by him, she goes home writing the date off as a bad loss – only for Tomek to send her up in puppet form on his show the next night. However, this segment is a hit with viewers, so the network wants more…for Ania's future dates, using a popular app called Planeta Singli, to feature on the show as a regular feature…
Planet Single (Planeta Singli) is directed by Slovenian director Mitja Okorn, whose previous film Listy do M. (Letters to Santa, 2011), also made in Poland, can be seen showing on a TV set at one point. His new film sits squarely within the romantic comedy genre: you know who's going to end up with whom by the end, but it's more important to see how they get there. And in the case of Tomek, how a flawed character sees the light and changes for the better. The trouble is, as written, and as played by Maciej Stuhr (who played a lead role in Letters to Santa and is the son of longstanding character actor and director Jerzy Stuhr), he's a little too convincing a jerk early on and throughout much of the film, so that the ending seems to come about by fiat from the writers (six credited, including Okorn) and director rather than as a natural outcome. While watchable for the most part, and shot on some attractive Warsaw locations, Planet Single is also at two and a quarter hours overlong by at least twenty if not thirty minutes and has worn down its welcome by the time the end credits play.
Planet Single was released in cinemas on its home turf in February 2016 and had a limited run in Odeon cinemas in the UK in May the same year. Planet Single shows on 18 March at 8.00pm at the Regent Street Cinema, London, as part of the 14th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival, in the New Polish Cinema strand.