Netflixable? A Polish rom-com couple nobody will root for — “Kiss, Kiss!”

Oh, “Kiss, Kiss!,” you impish little Polish rom-com, how do I hate thee? Let me ennumate the ways.

I hate your stupid story, your loopy sitcom logic, your repellent lead, your idiotically-compliant leading lady and her inexplicable soft spot for lying, shallow womanizing boors.

Your “meet cute” made me want to puke, your secondary love story was downright gory.

I hate you from your random, “contract that’s going to make me” interrupted for skirt-chasing opening to your attempted “Graduate” finale.

That’s a lot of hate-hate for an innocuous nothing titled “Gorzko, gorzko!” in its original Polish. But 107 minutes of this is one long night at the opera, waiting around for the fat lady to sing or one damned thing about “Kiss, Kiss!” to charm, amuse or delight.

Mateusz Kosciukiewicz plays Tomek, our obnoxious, smarmy, inexplicably-cocky lead. We meet him as he recklessly drives his colleague/girlfriend to their Big Meeting at work, the contract with “The Japanese” that will get him promoted, maybe to New York, preferably to California.

But he brushes-off the lover/co-worker who propped him him and got him here. And when he spies a pretty blonde leaving the office just as he’s arriving, he forgets everything else to chase her onto a bus and him right out of a job, a company Maserati, a live-in arrangment, the works.

Tomek imposes on his Ed Sheeran look-alike estranged brother (Rafal Zawierucha), who inexplicably takes the jerk in. Next thing we know, the womanizer is giving the kid brother romantic pointers so that he can close the deal with shy, skittish florist Klara (Agnieska Wiedlocha) who sells the allergic sibling cacti.

And then they get a job photographing the “behind the scenes/making of” footage of “the biggest wedding this country’s ever seen.” A justice department minister (Marcin Perchuc) who wants to be president and his failed-film-actress wife (Edyta Olszówka) are marrying off their son just before election day.

No expense will be spared, no lack of pomp will be seen. The son will be home from Abu Dhabi shortly. So the film crew brothers will follow mother Patsy as she finishes up plans, and the imposed-upon and the bride-to-be.

Ola (Zofia Domalik) is the face that ended Tomek’s previous career, the skirt that he chased onto that bus. She’s about to marry into money and power and this stalker with the creepy come-ons will be underfoot, pressing his case with a camera in her face right up to “I do.”

The script’s most irksome quality is how she’s resigned to that, how the grandmother who raised her encourages this “rascal” who is prone to grabbing women and “stealing a kiss” like it’s 1925 or the end of World War II.

Meanwhile, Tomek is staging dangerous stunts that will throw Janek and the demure Klara together, stunts that get the police involved.

And then there’s this infamous imprisoned mobster (Tomasz Sapryk) who has a stake in this whole wedding thing and is having Tomek watched.

There wasn’t a single scene in this I found believable, and I’m hard-pressed to think of a character who came off as relatable.

A cute moment, the minister shows up in the middle of his wife’s grandiose plans, rejects “foreign” chamber music and insists on Polish tunes, especially for the planned game of musical chairs.

But that “cute” piece of a scene dies of loneliness in this tone-deaf, fingersnails-on-a-chalkboard farce.

The leads don’t click, with neither “couple” serving up anything worth rooting for. The criminal melodramatics add nothing and the mad sprint to the altar stumbles along to a payoff that is nothing that will make film fans forget Katharine Ross and Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate.”

Netflix wasted a lot of Polish Zlotys on a terrible movie that had apparently no one in the U.S. company bothered to read and approve, or even have translated so that they could see and hear how bad it was doomed to be.

Rating: TV-MA, sexual situations, profanity

Cast: Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Zofia Domalik, Rafal Zawierucha, Agnieszka Wiedlocha, Edyta Olszówka, Marcin Perchuc and Tomasz Sapryk

Credits: Directed by Tomasz Konecki scripted by Andrzej Golda and Martyna Skibinska. A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:48


About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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