A dog, they say, is not just for Christmas. But it sure is a good time of year for pound worker Rafal (Filip Plawiak) to unlock the kennels and close the deal in uniting man with his so-called best friend. Similarly, love is for life. The problem though is that neither he nor a number of his fellow Poles are in a loving relationship. That is until fate in the shape of a red ballgown, like Bob Dylan’s illusive answer, starts blowing in the wind and changes the status of their lonely hearts club ads from wanted to found.
Rafal steals the heart of the money-grabbing Zuza (Katarzyna Zawadzka) after rescuing her from fallen masonry and in effect becoming a knight in shining armour to her damsel in distress. A radio agony aunt Karolina (Magdalena Rózczka) softens the hard heart of cynical cop Gibson (Borys Szyc) with her Cadbury’s Caramel-voiced life lessons “If you love her, tell her” and “If you don’t play, you won’t win”.
And countless others, including the titular M, Melchior aka Mel Gibson (no, not the co-star of the festive turkey that is Daddy’s Home 2, but Tomasz Karolak as a far from festive Santa in search of his long-lost father), discover that the three little words “I love you” are harder to say than Elton John’s “sorry”. Though when they are eventually uttered, two become one; or in the case of grandparents Piotr (Szczepan Lisiecki) and Karina (Agnieszka Dygant who starred in the deadpan Botoks), three in the shape of an unplanned pregnancy.
This is the third film in a trilogy by screenwriters Mariusz Kuczewski and Marcin Baczyński, the latter of whom penned both prequels, neither of which featured on my radar. The similarities with Love, Actually are obvious – even the poster is a carbon copy. And, true, it can be filed under “Not Werther’s” for it lacks originality. However, there is much to like.
The score by Lukasz Targosz (Stones For The Rampart), a collection of American toe-tappers and tear-jerkers, tugs the heart strings and warms the cockles. Tomasz Konecki’s direction brings the best out of his playful cast. And the humour, like a mug of mulled wine, is brimming with sugar and spice and has a memorable kick. “What’s wrong?” asks the pot-smoking Piotr to his menopausal wife Katrina. “I’m old, that’s what’s wrong.” Though there’s little wrong with Listy Do M 3 (aka Letters To Santa 3).
Video courtesyof TVN
Director: Tomasz Konecki
Writers: Marcin Baczynski, Tomasz Cichon (redaction)
Stars: Agnieszka Dygant, Piotr Adamczyk, Tomasz Karolak