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Politics Plays Second String to Love in Prague Duet

Faced with the aftermath of war crimes and currentpolitical intrigue, what's a '90s couple to do? In the land of romance, love winsout, as seen in Prague Duet, an original film acquired by Romance Classics and onthe schedule all this month.

I'm not ruining anything with that lead. The film's biggestfault is it tips its own hand, showing the ending as the beginning of the film. I guessthey didn't want anyone to tune out in anticipation that the lovers don't end up together.Other than that, it's a fine fantasy-romance: girl meets boy, girl discoversNazi-collaborator roots, girl loses boy in scandal, boy decides to overlook bad pedigree.

The movie avoids the trap of weighting the two plotsequally by treading lightly enough around the politics to remain a romance. Others havetried to make the two plot lines equal and have ended up with a silly morass. Adding tothe lightness of the product is the staging and cinematography. The film's locations couldbe dark and Gothic, but instead charming, lighthearted backgrounds are featured: ananimated clock, a rowing pond and well-lit rooms.

At the center of the story is Dr. Lauren Graham (GinaGershon). She has a heavy heart, having lost her daughter, her grandfather and awomanizing ex. She doesn't appear to be looking for involvement, but during a professionalconference in Prague, she meets a former dissident writer, Jiri (Rade Serbedzija). It'slove at first sight, and they decide to marry. But since she's of Czech descent, shedecides to research her family tree, only to find her grandfather hid his real past as aNazi death-camp architect. This doesn't go over well with the government investigatorsvetting Jiri for the post of minister of culture.

The slow pace of the story may put some off, but I enjoyedthe slow build. It was sort of a travelogue with emotion.

The film has debuted but will reprise throughout the monthas part of Romance Classics' "Moonlight Months" promotion.