The Taming of the Shrewd
By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Romance blooms amid a scam; sex, language.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Pursuing dreams is more important than money.
Positive Role Models
Kaska is connected to the place she grew up.
The cast is Polish and White.
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Violence & Scariness
Violence is played for comic effect. A man falls off a ladder. A woman falls out of a tree. Off-screen a man is attacked by a goat and ends up at urgent care. After catching her husband having clothed sex with a co-worker, the wife destroys his workplace, breaking glass, throwing heavy items, and yelling in a scene played for comedy.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman pretends she wants to have sex with a stranger, ordering him to remove his clothes and speaking to him seductively, then ignores him. Adults have sex; breasts are seen. A married man is discovered by his wife having sex in his laboratory with a co-worker.
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"F--k," "s--t," "bastard," "damn," "ass," "crap," "pee," "piss," "screw," and "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink homemade liqueur.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Taming of the Shrewd is a Polish romantic comedy (in Polish with English subtitles) about scams and double-crosses and a shady land deal. Adults have sex and breasts are seen. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bastard," "damn," "ass," "crap," "pee," "piss," "screw," and "hell." Violence is played for comic effect. After catching her husband having clothed sex with a co-worker, the wife destroys his workplace, breaking glass, throwing heavy items, and yelling in a scene played for comedy. Adults drink homemade liqueur.
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The Taming of the Shrewd
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What's the Story?
THE TAMING OF THE SHREWD features Agata (Dorota Landowska), the hard-bitten chairperson of a Polish furniture company that's about to go under. If she can purchase a country tract of land that has a hidden supply of sought-after bogwood (prized wood preserved in peat bogs), she'll be able to rescue her firm. But scamming the landowners will be necessary. So when her irresponsible brother Patryk (Mikolaj Roznerski), her silent partner, comes to borrow a million for some forgotten debt, she agrees to lend it in exchange for a little errand. She needs him to seduce the stubborn Kaska (Magdalena Lamparska), a co-owner, and persuade her to sell. Having just left her cheating husband, Kaska isn't interested. She's returning to her country roots, hoping to settle on her family's land to keep bees. Kaska resists Patryk's questionable charms, and comic situations ensue.
Is It Any Good?
This Polish romcom doesn't work. In The Taming of the Shrewd, just who "the shrewd" is is unclear, since there doesn't seem to be anyone with a normal-sized human brain involved, never mind one with special reasoning skills the word "shrewd" suggests. That may be why the movie refers to itself in the opening subtitles using the far more Shakespearean, The Taming of the Shrew, no "D."
That confusion aside, what follows is a banal, humorless, overlong attempt at romantic comedy that fails on almost every level, from depictions of rural citizens as moronic and easily goaded into comic violence all the way to suggesting that a reserve of bogwood can save a company.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the representations of families here. What are we expected to think of a sister who has no qualms about putting her brother in danger?
Kaska is mean to Patryk, yet he smiles at her criticisms and continues to pursue her. Do you think this seems realistic? Why, or why not?
Landowners are portrayed as idiots. Does that portrayal add anything to the movie, or does it seem to reflect big-city assumptions about people who live in rural areas?
- On DVD or streaming: April 13, 2022
- Cast: Magdalena Lamparska, Mikolaj Roznerski, Dorota Landowska
- Director: Anna Wieczur-Bluszcz
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Romance
- Run time: 112 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
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