Directed by Filip Zylber, Heart Parade (aka Parada Serc) is a Polish romantic comedy, about a young TV executive who develops a relationship with a widower, his son, and their dachshund. The movie stars Anna Próchniak, Michal Czernecki, and Iwo Rajski, and is new to Netflix from today.
In the movie, Magda Grot is a headstrong young woman, who has built up a great career in television. She has organised her life around her job and is working hard to achieve a promotion.
Everything is going great for Magda, and she has control over all aspects of her life. However, she has one weakness: A dislike of dachshunds, dating back to a childhood trauma.
Ordinarily this is something she can work around, however, on the day that Magda is due to achieve her promotion, her boss asks Magda to look after her dachshund. Magda reluctantly agrees, and soon she is taking the role of dog-minder for the afternoon.
But things take an unlikely turn for the worst when the dog becomes ill. Believing the illness is Magda’s fault, her boss cancels the promotion and promptly fires her from her job.
Keen to turn the situation around, Magda believe she will get her old job back if she can prove she is a fan of dachshunds. She learns about a dachshund parade taking place in Kraków, and heads to the city to get involved.
Upon arrival, Magda rents a room from a young widower called Krzysztof, who shares an apartment with his son Karol, and their dachshund Trombone. They are a sweet family, and despite Magda’s reservations about dogs, she finds herself warming to everyone, including Trombone.
Over the next few days, Magda and Krzysztof develop a connection, with a potential romance on the horizon. But will this romance derail her plans to restart her career, or does a new life beckon?
Bright and breezy, with some nice splashes of humour, Heart Parade is a whimsical little movie, perfect for those who enjoy light-hearted fun. Sure, the film tells a well-worn tale, with a very clear outcome that even Stevie Wonder could see coming a mile off, but it’s evident from the start of the film this picture simply wants to entertain.
And entertain it does, through the use of a serviceable romance, a cute kid, and lots of dogs. Or rather, lots of dachshunds to be more precise.
I don’t think I’ve ever written the word dachshund so many times in my life as I have with this review, but I’m OK with it! Dachshunds are the best dogs in the world, so I’m happy to mention them as many times as required, while simultaneously providing Heart Parade with bonus points for putting them front and centre in this movie.
But I won’t let dogs sway my review of this film (honest), as I found it to be relaxing stuff irrespective of the pooches. Plus, the human cast aren’t bad either.
Anna Próchniak is ideal in the role of Magda, and brings authority and likeability to her role. She balances the drive of a successful business executive, with the need to discover happiness as a young woman, to deliver a believable performance.
Meanwhile, Michal Czernecki is ideally suited to the role of Krzysztof, while Iwo Rajski fits the part of Karol perfectly. The young actor essentially becomes the glue between the two adult leads (as well as the dog), and glides through the film with ease.
Add to all this a decent supporting cast and a gentle tone to the material, which helps Heart Paradefulfil its main objectives. It also benefits from some delightful shots of the beautiful city of Kraków, which are peppered throughout the film, and make this a lovely little picture to indulge in.
Heart Parade isn’t looking to reinvent the wheel, nor is it the most exciting movie in the world. It sets out to tell a fairly simple, non-offensive tale, and it does exactly that.
Similar to my discussion of the Spanish crime drama, Centauro, which I reviewed earlier this morning, some films just want to be watchable and enjoyable for the length of their running time, and that’s Heart Parade in a nutshell. Don’t expect the world, and you won’t be too disappointed, but if you are up for some easy, romantic fun, you’ll get it here.