Twists and Turns

Twists and Turns (Выкрутасы; also called Lucky Trouble in English) is a 2010 Russian romantic comedy. It stars Milla Jovovich (Милла Йовович), the Ukrainian-American actress who also speaks Russian, and it was directed by Levan Gabriadze (Леван Габриадзе), who directed two of the Christmas Trees (Ёлки) movies. Russian actress Galina Loginova (Галина Логинова), Jovovich’s real-life mother, plays Jovovich’s character’s mother in the film. Ivan Urgant (Иван Ургант), well-known from the Christmas Trees series and other comedies, plays one of the two love interests. The other is played by Konstantin Khabenskiy (Константин Хабенский), who is known, among other things, for playing a degenerate detective in the popular TV show Method (Метод) and the main character in the vampire movie Night Watch (Ночной дозор).

In the film, Vyacheslav, a schoolteacher from the seaside village of Palchiki (which translates as “fingers”), arrives in Moscow, trying to set the literary world on fire with his handwritten novel manuscript. Instead he meets Nadya (Jovovich), and they soon get engaged. But right before the wedding, Vyacheslav is called back to Palchiki, where he is drafted into coaching a children’s soccer team. Back in Moscow, Nadya’s ex-boyfriend (Urgant) is doing everything he can to win her back.

The film got decent critical reviews and ratings from audiences. Jovovich, being an international star, was probably a big draw—it was her first Russian film. She has said that she was amused that she was able to play the part in Russian, since she hadn’t thought her Russian was very good. One reviewer called her a “decoration” for the film, saying that she was in no way the only good thing about the film, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Others found that the film was completely divided into its two parts, about city life and the provinces, almost forming two separate movies—so it may be a good look at various forms of Russian life.

Director: Levan Gabriadze (Леван Габриадзе)
Stars: Konstantin Khabenskiy (Константин Хабенский), Milla Jovovich (Милла Йовович), Ivan Urgant (Иван Ургант), Sergey Garmash (Сергей Гармаш), Galina Loginova (Галина Логинова)
Production company: Bazelevs Productions
Box office take: $12.4 million

Official trailer:

 

Twists and Turns

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.