November 11, 2010 -- Pity the fool who knows people like the two couples in this film. It cannot be easy being their friends. They seem very uncomfortable when they are together, and maybe even more uncomfortable with themselves when they are alone. They are also awkward with their friends. Have I left anything out? Some critics complain that watching this movie is like being trapped in a room with obnoxious people. I wouldn't go that far, but watching these needy, self-absorbed, manipulative people made me feel uncomfortable and uneasy. I kept thinking there was an impending murder or suicide coming along in the very next scene.
This German film about feelings and relationships has a tiny bit of English in it, including a Willie Nelson song. It has English subtitles for American audiences. It is very slow moving, as one might imagine. There are many scenes about a couple discussing their uneasy relationship and their conflicted feelings about themselves and each other, enough of this sort of stuff to send most men running out of the theater while screaming in agony. Women my find this material more interesting, if not entertaining.
The main relationship in the movie is between Gitti (Birgit Minichmayr) and Chris (Lars Eidinger). Gitti suffers from low self-esteem and is very needy, while Chris also suffers from feelings of inadequacy, but is somewhat aloof. He seems unsure of his relationship with Gitti, his girlfriend. At times he seems to think she isn't good enough for him. He puts her down and tells her she is stupid and tactless. On a hiking trip, he criticizes her and leaves her behind when she can't keep up. Eventually, however, he returns and carries her heavy pack for her, as well as his own.
The film continues with these constant emotional ups and downs, big and small, for what seems like hours (actual film length 2:03:53). Gitti wants Chris to say he loves her and will never leave her. Chris says he loves her, but for the rest, well ... he's not so sure. The other couple in the film is Chris' friend and fellow architect Hans (Hans-Jochen Wagner) and his pregnant girlfriend Sana (Nicole Marischka). Hans and Sana seem to be a lot more at ease with themselves and each other. Gitti, however, has trouble getting along with them. She doesn't like Hans' brusque, blunt manner and his habit of criticizing others. She tries to defend Chris, but Chris doesn't want to be defended. He'd rather just shrug off the criticism quietly.
While Chris and Hans both behave like jerks at times, Gitti's behavior is more erratic. You never know what she is going to do next. Several of the stunts she pulls in the movie are more than a little bizarre. A couple of these stunts are definitely aimed at manipulating other people. Gitti is odd. I wouldn't bet on the relationship between Chris and Gitti to last very long. The film does have some fairly explicit sex scenes in it and some nudity, but if that's all you are looking for, you'll probably find it disappointing. This is definitely not a good date movie, either. It is more of a break-up movie. This film rates a C.
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