Whether or not Katya embodied Soviet womanhood depends on the interpretation of the film, and on a willingness to mix fantasy with fact. The film chronicles the young lives of three emblematic women, who arrive in the Moscow metropolis in 1957 to get educated and catch men. Educated they become, though not always to much purpose; and they do catch men. Two are cads. Katya meets a handsome young man in the exciting new field of television; he turns cad when she becomes pregnant, and he disappears. Liudmila (Irina Muravieva) catches a star hockey player, who disappoints her by becoming an alcoholic. Only simple Antonina (Raisa Riazanova), who catches an equally simple country boy, lives a happy family life. Education and social mobility are clearly not the paths to happiness for women. When the film leaps forward to the year 1979, Katya is a mother, manless and dissatisfied. Although a factory director, in many ways the pinnacle of Soviet success, she has little to point to in her life. Her daughter is rebellious and in need of fatherly discipline, and Katya needs a male shoulder to lean on in her moments of weakness. She eventually finds these in Gosha (played by the classic Soviet male, Aleksei Batalov), the simple work man who puts her house in order. Though an occasional tippler, and as troubled as Katya by her superior work status, his simple goodness enriches everyone in the end.
Female viewers could see in the character of Katya a reflection of their own travails.