Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
The odd comedies of Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki may be an acquired taste, but it is one which more and more people are getting. The story concerns the exploits of an extremely inept but dedicated troupe of accordian musicians, "The Leningrad Cowboys," whose sheer awfulness puts SCTV's Schmenge brothers in the shade. In fact, in order to stop having to listen to them, a local record producer advises them to go to America, and paints a glowing picture of the success they will enjoy there. These eight Finnish lads (seven living, one very frozen corpse) are dressed as they think true hipster musicians should be (ducktails, sunglasses, fur coats, pointy-toed shoes), and they head off for New York. There they encounter yet another wise guy, who sends them off to Mexico by car to play at his cousin's wedding (he apparently hates his cousin). Along the way, they get bookings wherever they can, learn American music styles, and get along fabulously (by their reckoning).
band [music group], polka, on-the-road, America, music, traveling, fish-out-of-water, road-trip, tourist, battle-of-the-bands