There was a sort of sad comedy to the Cold War. This movie is a sort of sad comedy about the Cold War.
Robin Williams in his fuzzy, sensitive mode with bittersweet touches plays a musician in a Russian circus who gets talked into defecting by a pal and does so (though the pal bails on him at the last minute)--in the middle of Bloomingdale's. A great concept, to be sure, but writer-director Paul Mazursky doesn't seem to know where to go from there. Williams winds up living in the same kind of poverty that he did in Russia, casting about for a way to make a living while both wallowing and drowning in the sudden tidal wave of freedom. Mazursky wants to make a point about how little we appreciate what we have, but he fails to entertain in the process--or at least to engage in a consistent way. --Marshall Fine