Russian Dolls Directed by Cédric Klapisch IFC First Take, opens May 10, IFC Center
The entertaining sequel to Cédric Klapisch's 2002 hit L'Auberge Espagnole catches up with the former student roommates five years later, all scattered from Barcelona now and approaching the landmark age of 30. They're still holding some fun tickets, but annoyances like maturity and melancholy are also creeping into their lives. The focus here is on Romain Duris's Xavier, now a struggling writer in Paris who's searching for a new romance. Among others, exAuberge residents Audrey Tautou, Cécile De France, and Kevin Bishop also return, each with new comic quandaries and new directions. Shot in glamorous locations in London, Paris, and St. Petersburg (the site of a wedding that occasions the characters' reunion), Klapisch's busy, bittersweet farce fairly wallows in the youth-obsessed worlds of media, high fashion, and publishing. Those who loved the original Auberge will likely be eager to book rooms once again.