The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!

Watch The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!

  • PG-13
  • 1975
  • 3 hr 4 min
  • 8.1  (13,475)

The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath! from 1976 is a beloved Soviet-era romantic comedy that has become a New Year's Eve classic in Russia. Directed by Eldar Ryazanov and starring Andrey Myagkov, Barbara Brylska, and Yuriy Yakovlev, it tells the story of a young man named Zhenya who accidentally travels to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) instead of Moscow after a night of drinking with his friends.

Zhenya (Myagkov) is a successful doctor who lives in Moscow with his longtime girlfriend, Galya (played by Olga Naumenko). He has plans to propose to her on New Year's Eve, but his friends convince him to join them for a night of drinking at a bathhouse. After their drunken revelry, Zhenya stumbles onto a plane that he thinks is bound for Moscow, but ends up in Leningrad instead. Meanwhile, Galya is waiting for him in Moscow, unaware that he is in another city.

In Leningrad, Zhenya meets a beautiful woman named Nadya (Brylska) and they strike up a conversation. She mistakes him for a local, and they have several adventures together before Zhenya realizes that he is not in Moscow. Nadya takes him to her apartment, where her parents (played by Yakovlev and Valentina Talyzina) are hosting a New Year's Eve party. Zhenya decides to play along and pretends that he is a friend of Nadya's, not realizing the hilarious coincidence that awaits him.

The crux of the story is the irony of fate that leads Zhenya to Nadya's apartment. The buildings in Moscow and Leningrad were constructed with similar floor plans, and as fate would have it, Zhenya's key works on the door of Nadya's apartment. As a result, Zhenya finds himself in an almost identical apartment to his own, with a similar layout, furniture, and even a similar-looking tree decorated for the New Year.

The rest of the film follows Zhenya as he tries to navigate the unfamiliar city and find a way back to Moscow while also trying to keep up his ruse with Nadya and her parents. Meanwhile, Galya and Zhenya's friends in Moscow are starting to get worried about his whereabouts, and Galya's father even hires a private investigator to find him.

The Irony of Fate is a charming and heartwarming comedy that captures the spirit of Soviet-era Russia in the 1970s. The film features beautiful shots of both Leningrad and Moscow during the winter holidays, as well as a catchy soundtrack that has become synonymous with New Year's celebrations in Russia. The performances by the three leads are excellent, with Myagkov and Brylska having great chemistry on screen.

The film has become a cultural touchstone in Russia, with millions of people tuning in to watch it every New Year's Eve for the past four decades. The story has been adapted into plays, musicals, and even an animated short, and the film's famous line, "Don't you recognize your own apartment?" has become part of the Russian lexicon.

Overall, The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath! is a delightful and funny film that has stood the test of time. Its universal themes of love, fate, and the importance of home have resonated with audiences around the world, and it continues to be a beloved classic of Russian cinema.

The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    3 hr 4 min
  • IMDB Rating
    8.1  (13,475)