Polish Cinema: Just Love Me (Ryszard Zatorski, 2006, Poland)

Tylko mnie kochaj is a lighthearted romantic comedy from director Ryszard Zatorski, in the vein of dozens of American romantic comedies. Zatorski has worked often in the romantic comedy genre, and also for the long-running Polish soap opera M jak milosc. The film stars Maciej Zakoscielny as Michal, a young architect working in Warsaw. Michal, exhibiting the aspirational wealth in Poland at the dawn of the new millennium, has an amazing apartment, drives a nice German car, and has a cushy job. He has a long-running relationship with a co-worker Aga (Agnieszka Dygant), free of any real attachments. This is upended when he finds a young girl on his doorstep one day - Michalina (Julia Wroblewska) - who claims to be his daughter. Michal is originally reluctant toward the girl but eventually warms with her. As we learn throughout the film, the girl's mother is someone closer to Michal than we expect. 

Mr. Zakoscielny - the Polish Brad Pitt - does not have much going on as a performer but does a serviceable job. Likewise, Agnieszka Grochowska - playing Michalina's mother - does a serviceable job. The two best performers are the young daughter Michalina. Julia Wroblewska does a very good job of being cute. Likewise, Michal's part-time work lover is a fun character. The film's premise is of course absurd, but as light entertainment, the film generally works. The cloying and dated music cues are quite annoying, however - particularly the overuse of James Blunt's single "You're Beautiful." The rest of the film's soundtrack has a light, breezy quality, and is not bad at all. However, it is somewhat overdone and overused. Overall, Tylko mnie kochaj is a pleasant way to spend 90 minutes, though it is not a masterpiece by any stretch. Listy do Mikolaj is a better Polish romcom.



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