Turning out big belly laughs at both Fantasia and New York Asian Film Festivals, Yernar Nurgaliyev’s riotous Kazakhstani film Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It (Жаным, ты не поверишь!) is an energetic and very funny madcap comedy about the escalating insanity of two groups of morons placed at odds with each other. It’s similar in tone to R-rated buddy comedies like Horrible Bosses or This is The End, but from a foreign perspective.

As the birth of his child nears, henpecked Das is completely frustrated by his nagging wife and hits up his two best pals to take a day trip fishing to unwind. The trio of good-natured but dimwitted friends pile into a van and hit the road.

Meanwhile, another group comprised of gangsters sets out on their own day’s criminal activities.

When the two groups cross paths in a remote area where both think themselves alone, the surprised gangsters accidentally shoot and kill the man they’re interrogating at gunpoint, observed by Das and his buddies. Compromised, the gangsters immediately set about to kill their witnesses — but they’re just as stupid as the dorks they’re chasing.

The film is quite funny, mixing up the characters’ buffoonery with gleefully gruesome violence, a rising bodycount, and Texas Chainsaw-esque style fear of local yokels who run a dilapidated gas station. For other players are also encountered and enter the picture, including a vengeful scarfaced killer and a husband-hunting bumpkin and her grandchildless father.

Even when veering into action and horror territory, the tone always remains silly and upbeat. For example, a favorite recurring gag is one of the babyfaced gangsters immediately fainting every time he sees a violent act or a corpse (which happens more than you might expect).

To sum things up, I had a great time with this movie. It’s hilarious and over-the-top in a way that I can appreciate. I have very little knowledge of Khazakstan’s films or culture, so it’s also fun on that front to see a film, especially one this entertaining, from a culture I have no prior experience with.


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