Squared Love All Over Again 2023 movie review

Enzo (Mateusz Banasiuk) is not really Enzo. He’s actually Stefan, but the world knows him as Enzo, the celebrity model who cruises the city in fancy sports cars, using his sexy smirk to pick up women. Klaudia (Adrianna Chlebicka) is not really Klaudia. She’s actually Monika, a teacher who ditches her zip-up denim jumper and big eyeglasses for spike heels, short skirts, fake lashes, contact lenses and a curly wig to moonlight as Klaudia, the celebrity model who’s on billboards all over town. The third primary character in the movie is The Invisible Force Of Destiny (TIFOD), played by screenwriters Marzanna Polit and Wiktor Piatkowski, a nebulous presence conspiring to press Enzo/Stefan and Klaudia/Monika’s lips together.

It doesn’t happen so easily, though, because The Invisible Force Of Destiny has a sense of humor and also has to fill 100 or so minutes of movie run time. Occasionally, TIFOD steps back to allow for character development: Enzo lives with Alicja (Agnieszka Zulewska), a managerial sort at the ad firm that employs him. She’s a harsh personality who clearly values her gigantic dog over him, and even though they have an open relationship, she’s not happy that he takes advantage of it so frequently. She kicks him out, forcing him to move in with his brother (Krzysztof Czeczot) and young niece Ania (Helena Mazur).

Klaudia hustles from glossy photo shoots to her chaotic classroom, which makes Kindergarten Cop look like Romper Room on barbiturates. Her principal (Tomasz Karolak) is a hardass who dislikes her despite her beloved status, and has a big hard-on for standardized test scores. Monika hates the modeling gig, but puts up with it so she can pay off her father’s (Miroslaw Baka) debt — note: he also doesn’t know she’s Klaudia — which is the kind of debt that has heavies grabbing him by the lapels and threatening to break his fingers. Teaching is her TRUE passion, but if the awful TRUTH of her alter-ego is revealed, oh it would be such a SCANDAL, I guess?

And so, TIFOD works to put Klaudia and Enzo on the same project, where they’ll play sex-ay romantic lovers who make out next to and/or atop sports cars. It also conspires to make Enzo take a shine to Ania, who happens to be one of Monika’s students. Notably, Enzo looks like Markus and Markus looks like Enzo, where Monika and Klaudia are two distinctive sides of one woman’s life. They’re both being duplicitous — she’s keeping a secret, and he thinks he’s macking on two different ladeez. There’s a tingle between Enzo and Klaudia on set, and there’s a spark between Enzo and Monika when he chaperones school field trips. Will he ever find out the truth of it all? And will he actually be rewarded for being a two-timing cad? NIE SPOJLERY!

Sorry, but Monika/Klaudia’s Superman routine is unconvincing. And corny. And burdened by weary stereotypes. Maybe it’d work if the film struck a more bubbly, absurdist or self-aware tone, but it takes itself about 10 percent too seriously, and struggles to find its comedic feet. In a quest for laughs, director Filip Zylber strikes his share of off-key notes — e.g., the scene in which Enzo and Klaudia first meet, on the way to a modeling shoot, when he picks her up after her car breaks down, and he jokes that she’s a prostitute just like the women across the street, even though they’re on a rural road surrounded by forest, which is where prostitutes apparently hang out in Poland? Is this funny? Or plausible? Even remotely? You know the answer to that.

The screenplay is a cluttered and repetitive thing moving with leaden boots. Maybe it’s good that it takes the time to let us get to know the characters, but with no balance of pacing and development and minimal chemistry between the leads, it’s a drag. The plot tosses out pointless complications — including that old chestnut, the Child With a Life-Threatening Allergy — that feel like slow-motion contortions Monika and Enzo must navigate to get to the inevitable conclusion, as dictated by TIFOD. It’s not a film you’ll actively dislike; it’s merely flat, uninspired and uninvolving.


By acinetv