The beauty in question is in trouble, indeed. Floods have devastated Prague, her house has an out-of-control mildew problem which is exacerbating her young son’s asthma and she is married to an abusive man who makes a living stealing cars.
When she’s finally had enough, she takes her two children to her mother’s house. She finds slightly nicer surroundings, but mom is married to a creepy fellow with an anger management problem who is constantly saying inappropriate things – particularly to the children. She’s gone from bad to … just as bad.
While visiting her husband in jail, she happens to meet the man whose car the husband has stolen recently. He is a benevolent, rich, saintly, older man, and he takes a liking to our protagonist. Yet, he seems to want nothing more from her than companionship. Heck, he’s even good with her kids. Obvious choice, right? An abusive, low-life thug or a kind-hearted man of means. But the characters in this subtitled Czechoslovakian movie, as in real life, don’t always make the right decision.
So, beauty's trouble is partly of her own making. The pull of her lousy husband is too strong for her to ignore, and she vacillates between the attractive, wealthy older man (oh, who happens to own a fabulous Italian villa!) and her crappy husband in the mold-infested slum.
While her dilemma and the circumstances of her life are tough to look at, it’s refreshing to see characters who behave in the same confounding ways real people do. There’s nothing pretty to look at it here (save for the lovely actress who plays the title character), but a film that deals honestly with the bad decisions we all make in life is worth celebrating. See it.