Office Romance: Our Time (Служебный роман. Наше время) is a 2011 Russian romantic comedy, a remake of the 1977 Office Romance, a highly beloved Soviet film directed by Eldar Ryazanov, one of the most popular and famous Soviet film directors.

The film is about a financial firm led by Lyudmila Kalugina, a hard-nosed businesswoman whom all her employees call a hag. A financial analyst at the firm, Anatoliy Novosel’tsev, is trying to get a promotion to the head office, but Kalugina doesn’t think highly of him. Spurred on by his friends, Novosel’tsev tries to win Kalugina over by flirting with her at a party, but it goes horribly. He keeps trying, though, first to get the promotion but then because he has developed feelings for her, but business and personal problems continue to get in their way.

As is often the way with remakes, the film got terrible reviews, although it did fairly well at the box office. Kritikantstvo rated it the third-worst film of the year and the 51st worst film of all time. Reviewers found the adaptation itself unimpressive—the new film had little to do with the old one—and the acting and screenplay could not save it. Novye Izvestiya noted that the weakness of the new film only served to stress the strengths of the old one, calling it an “unexpected gift to Eldar Ryazanov.” The Ruskino reviewer wondered why the job of remaking Office Romance fell to director Sarik Andreasyan, whose film credentials are limited, to put it politely. The one bright spot reviewers found was the depiction of the financial firm, which was accurate and vivid.

 

Director: Sarik Andreasyan
Stars: Svetlana Khodchenkova, Vladimir Zelenskiy, Marat Basharov, Anastasia Zavorotnyuk, Pavel Volya
Production company: Kvartal 95, Leopolis
Box office take: $11.8 million in Russia; $14.65 million worldwide

Official trailer:

Office Romance: Our Time

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.