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The balzac age

Year :  2002-2004
Duration :  44-52
Total number of releases :  12
Script by :  Maxim Stishov
Director :  Dmitry Fiks
Starring :  Julia Menshova, Lada Dance, Alika Smekhova, Janna Epple, Vera Alentova, Andrei Sokolov, Olga Prokhvatylo, Andrei Andreev, Valery Shiryaev, Alexander Vorobyov, Tatiana Yegorskaya, Angelica Shilova
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Could a facile comedy series about the fate of thirty-something women (who are commonly regarded as those of the Balzac age) be originally produced in Russia to grab the attention of both female and male audience nationwide? The correct answer would be “yes, it could.” In fact, it has already been produced.

Coming up next is “The Balzac Age, or All Men Are Rascals”… After the resounding success of “Sex and the City” throughout Russia, it became clear that the search for true love and funny dialogues of our fellow countrywomen are closer and dearer to viewers than those of their prototypes overseas.

The series is a story about four friends, each of them having different characters and equally unsettled private lives.

Vera (charming Julia Menshova), on behalf of which the story is narrated, describes herself as follows: “I am a psychologist by trade, while my status is single-mother. To spite my mom, I married an asocial individual. To spite my mom again, I got pregnant and delivered of a baby soon. Two years after, I pleased my mom with a divorce.” Since then, Vera has been living together with her elderly mom and her daughter, who is already sixteen years old by the time the story starts.

Alla (Lada Dance playing an unusual but nonetheless successful role) is a criminal-law lawyer. According to Vera, “Alla is pretty, smart and 100-percent independent woman, and one can make a fortune selling tickets to the courtroom sessions at which she defends the accused.” The most aggressive, offbeat and independent of the four. She never loses heart and always finds a way out of any hopeless situation.

Sonya (Alika Smekhova) is a “professional” widow. She was married twice. Both of her husbands were much older than herself. Despite the care and attention Sonya paid to them, both passed to their eternal rest. Since then, she’s in search of another “matching” old man. Alla is too practical towards men.

And the last one is Julia (Janna Apple) who, according to her friends, “is appealing in all respects.” Julia is a woman who sleeps with men on the first date and then sincerely wonders why none of them lived with her longer than two weeks. Too emotional, amorous, indecisive, but optimistic.

In each episode, new heroes come and go, hopes appear and fade away, witty dialogues and sarcastic soliloquies and many other situations that are so cognate to the big city’s lonely-hearts. The four friends encounter affluent admirers and young boy toys, charming rabbis and appealing suspects. And each of the main characters has to decide for herself whether all men are rascals or not. What shall they do? Resign themselves to the iniquity of life? Or to resist, hoping firmly that each of them will find her own prince on white horse who might have got stuck somewhere in the big city’s jams?