There are good romantic comedies and bad romantic comedies. There is a third category, the worst romantic comedies, which don’t make sense because there is neither romance involved in such movies nor comedy that can be the saving grace of the film. It is appalling to see how broadly people take this genre and end up giving the audience a below-mediocre film that did not make any sense from the start until the end. It gives us no joy to write about its unimpressive aspects, but if an unimpressive piece of cinema is put in front of us, there is nothing we can do but be rational and not emotional about it. Directed by Tomasz Konecki, “Kiss, Kiss!” is all about a man pursuing a woman he is not supposed to pursue but is too adamant about it. Will he finally get a yes from her?
The movie begins with Tomek and his fling or associate from work headed to their office, and he is talking about the possibility of him moving to New York City or Los Angeles in America for better job prospects. He is excited about the upcoming meeting as well. So far, there is no clarity on what Tomek does for a living. Is he a corporate employee, an artist, or a photographer? Tomek’s only characterization so far is of a young man who loves having fling after fling and pursuing single, beautiful women whenever he can. He is a playboy in every sense. He ditches the meeting and follows a woman he saw walking out of his office, which is what men do these days to pursue young women. Thankfully, his pursuit is cut short because he is thrown out of the bus for not purchasing a ticket. Serves him right. But Tomek cannot get the girl out of his head, and he keeps wondering if he will run into her again. The meeting falling through because of his absence leads to him losing his job. Well, following a woman instead of attending a high-profile meeting gets him what he deserves. Tomek ends up living with his estranged brother, Janek, who is the exact opposite of Tomek. If Tomek is a highly functioning extrovert, Janek is an introvert who has a tough time expressing his love to a woman working at a flower shop. Even though Janek is allergic to flowers, he pursues this girl with all his heart, and he knows the girl likes him too. With the brothers living under one roof after a while, Tomek is searching for a new gig to keep him floating. Well, empty pockets don’t pay for the lifestyle he has led so far. He has been given a gig to shoot behind-the-scenes happenings at a high-profile wedding. It happens to be the son of the presidential nominee, and they want to make this wedding a part of the political campaign as well. There was a tad bit of satire thrown in there by the writers, but essentially, the whole point of this wedding was for the leads to have another cute meeting.
Ola is the woman he met on the bus, and he is surprised to see she is the bride, and her mother-in-law is as nightmarish as they come, as Ola has no rights over how the wedding will turn out. It is the groom’s mother who is planning and designing the wedding to accommodate all the political dignitaries and let the country know the importance of traditional marriage. Tomek does not have to switch on his charm button, for inherently, he begins flirting with and kissing her without her consent to let her know of his interest in her. Ola is disgusted by the man’s gaze and approach towards her, but as the men say, if she says no, that would mean it’s a yes from her. Tomek starts pursuing Ola even though Ola is uncomfortable around him. Tomek also helps his brother get him to ask Klara, the flower girl, out, but his brother turns out to be far more decent than Tomek. Will Tomek manage to get a hold of Ola? Will the inherent infatuation that he has for Ola turn into love?
It was easy to understand from the beginning of the movie itself that it would be just another run-of-the-mill story of a Casanova who does not understand the meaning of the word consent. Writer Andrzej Golda from the beginning, set up the scenarios as women always falling for the man by the end of it, even though the man must have harassed her, followed her, and forced her to talk to him. None of this can be considered anything close to romance, for there is no organic growth of fondness that Ola and Tomek have for each other. The story and the screenplay are clichéd to the point that it can be assumed from miles away what is going to happen, and there would be unnecessary plot points that would be added to somehow make some sense out of the screenplay. But sadly, those subplots do not make sense because there was no closure to them. The sound design of the film was absurd in the first ten to fifteen minutes of the movie; I’m not sure what went wrong there. The screenplay was erratic to the point that a lot of scenes in the film felt like they were there, but none of them added any importance to the narrative to take the story forward. The story, too, ends up diverting into lanes that do not find their way back to connect it to the climax. Though the climax was as predictable as any other film in this genre, what made this film frustratingly dull was that the characters, especially the leads, were written lazily. Tomek and Ola came across as more annoying than loveable throughout the film.
Tomek’s characterization is so one note from the start that there is no other shade but black given to him. His smile is not charming, and his behavior toward Ola is problematic. Ola has also been written as a damsel in distress who is confused about whether she should stay in this engagement or not, and she needs to be rescued from an overbearing would-be mother-in-law and a very silent fiancée who does not match up to what she wants in a partner. There is no clear explanation given as to why she is in an engagement or a relationship such as this one. Her come save me attitude is what is wrong with the way her character has been written. Women currently do not want to be saved. They can rescue themselves. Only if the movie was about Ola finding a way out of this engagement by having a conversation with Krystian, her fiance, but she had to be rescued from her on the day of her wedding. How cliche can it get? The humor in this film is also absolutely outdated. An elderly lady trying to seduce a young guy in the way she does comes across as something that is done and dusted. There could have been a better way to weave humor into this film.
The love story is as odd as it gets, and the direction by Tomasz does not come across as something one would sit over, which made half the film uninteresting. The climax had so much packed in that it became too much to tell by the end of it without any context. It was rushed in just to be able to make some sense of why the characters were behaving the way they were. Needless to say, because of a sloppy screenplay, the editing department also suffers because there is no continuity for the viewers to understand when the story jumps from one scenario to another.
There is nothing much to add about this romantic comedy film, which is anything but romantic or funny for the viewers to understand and enjoy. “Kiss, Kiss!” can be given a miss because the film, instead of making you all gush and blush, will infuriate you with its story and characters.