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During the 18th century, German noblewoman Sophia Frederica, who would later become Catherine the Great, travels to Moscow to marry the dimwitted Grand Duke Peter, the heir to the Russian throne. Their arranged marriage proves to be loveless, and Catherine takes many lovers, including the handsome Count Alexei, and bears a son. When the unstable Peter eventually ascends to the throne, Catherine plots to oust him from power.
Seven years after the death of his wife, company executive Aoyama is invited to sit in on auditions for an actress. Leafing through the resumés in advance, his eye is caught by Yamazaki Asami, a striking young woman with ballet training.
Frank Allen, a professional speaker who lectures on time management has a perfectly ordered and scheduled life, down to the minute. When his wife sets his clock forward 10 minutes as a joke, his day is thrown off. Deciding that his strictly ordered life has done him little good, he begins to make multiple choice index cards, choosing one at random and doing what is written on the card.
Two former backup soul singers, Louis and Floyd, have not spoken to each other in 20 years, and reluctantly agree to travel across the country together to a reunion concert to honor their recently-deceased lead singer. Cleo, a beautiful young woman who is believed to be Floyd’s daughter, accompanies them as a new singer.
Rachel is a food writer at a New York magazine who meets Washington columnist Mark at a wedding and ends up falling in love with him despite her reservations about marriage. They buy a house, have a daughter, and Rachel thinks they are living happily ever after until she discovers that Mark is having an affair while she is waddling around with a second pregnancy.
In a daring robbery, some $300,000 is taken from the Italian mob. Several mafiosi are killed, as are two policemen. Lt. Pope and Mattelli are two New York City cops trying to break the case. Three small-time criminals are on the run with the money. Will the mafia catch them first, or will the police? Written by Ken Miller