What a Wonderful World with You

Marie Poledňáková, 1982



A belated debut for the then 41 year-old director Marie Poledňáková, the comedy film S tebou mě baví svět (What a Wonderful World with You, 1982) went on to win a 1998 viewers’ poll for “the best comedy of the century”. In hindsight, that resounding endorsement has probably done the motion picture’s reputation more harm than good in the wider context of film. Still, Poledňáková’s first feature remains well remembered as a piece of light family entertainment. Its author had previously honed her skills as a screenwriter and director on two television comedies; Jak vytrhnout velrybě stoličku (How to Pull a Whale´s Tooth, 1977) and Jak dostat tatínka do polepšovny (How to get Daddy into Reform School, 1978). In both films she succeeded in combining comedy about marital relationships with the insights of a child protagonist played by Tomáš Holý. For the feature film What a Wonderful World With You, the director developed the script with a simple multiplication of her formula’s key ingredients. The sparring wife and husband are thus replaced by three married couples and one little rascal by six adorable whippersnappers. Rather than in a summer setting, the narrative takes place in the snow-clad Beskid Mountains during winter. The trio of adult male protagonists – physician Albert (Julius Satinský), conductor Michal (Václav Postránecký) and sound engineer Josef (Pavel Nový) – are visiting a mountain resort with their children. Following a minor rebellion by their wives, the proposed “stag party” in the chalet turns into an unforgettable winter holiday as the men try to prove that they can take better care of the kids than their spouses. Poledňáková generates laughs from the quirky techniques the men use to entertain their offspring. It doesn’t take long for Kateřina, Dáša and Gábina to realise that leaving the children with their incompetent and clumsy fathers has been a big mistake… This story, based on the timeless notion of the “battle of the sexes”, unwittingly reveals the limited extent of women´s emancipation in Czechoslovakia at the beginning of the 1980s.
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About a film

film_production_year 1982
film_countries Czechoslovakia
film_genres comedy
film_form feature
film_duration 82 min
film_director Marie Poledňáková
film_cast Július Satinský, Jana Šulcová, Václav Postránecký, Eliška Balzerová, Pavel Nový
film_director_of_photography Petr Polák
film_screenplay Marie Poledňáková
film_film_editor Miroslav Hájek
film_production_designer Jiří Matolín
film_music_composed_by Václav Zahradník
film_sound_designer Pavel Jelínek