If stereotyping as a concept truly held up, a truly funny comedy film coming from Germany should not be something that should ever happen. However, here we are with the “Most embarrassing” film at last years Cannes film festival finally showing in my local backwater.
This film felt rather unorthodox in one way early on, and that’s the fact the characters use both German and English, sometimes in the same conversation. This is quite strange to see in any film, as most film scripts choose one language and stick with it. However this approach depicts the largely multilingual mainland European urban population, in a realistic manner. However, us Anglophones can safely rely on the subtitles, which serve their purpose well. Although, I reckon some select small references and jokes went over my head because I don’t know a whole lot about German pop culture.
So lets take a look at the trailer.
Anyways, it is safe to say that this was my favorite comedy film of recent years. The comedy style is reminiscent of The Inbetweeners and The Office in the way it copies the humour through awkward moments approach. The humour stands in stark contrast to other recent comedy films, this film actually respects the audience’s intelligence. Its characters deliver the fantastically written and set up jokes in a deadpan fashion which reminded me of the 1984 classic Ghostbusters. The humour is often endearing as Winfried is the kind of guy who employs a lot of Dad humour, but later takes it to such extremes that his jokes whether practical or not, achieve belly laugh proportions.
Do not be shocked to find this is also a very competent dramatic film. There are long down periods of drama between the regular comedy bits which serve to accentuate and enhance the humour when it finally comes. The film has a lot to say about life, Ines is a workaholic and leads kind of an artificial and unsatisfying lifestyle as a constantly travelling woman of business. Her father sees this and believes the best way to intervene is through taking her down a notch and showing her how to take life less seriously. Staying with her on holiday for a month at her workplace in Romania.
Ines eventually recognises the value of her father and his way of trying to light up her life. Something most of us can relate to as often people don’t appreciate their parents trying to make them laugh, and like Ines, find it insufferable or embarrassing. The film also brings up the mantra that ‘the older you get, the less you care about other peoples opinion of you’ and Winfried personifies that, Ines starts to realise this too and attempts to find out who her true friends are in perhaps the funniest scene of the film.
This beautiful Father – Daughter story is a masterpiece in the way it makes such endearing characters connect on screen. It gave me an emotional reaction not felt since 2013’s The Last of us. It is the kind of film which makes you want to appreciate life andtime spent with loved ones more. A short note on the technicalities, The unlikely mixture of drama and comedy is optimised by narrative pacing that gives us a good taste of both elements at regular intervals. The cast are all fantastic and the mostly naturally lit scenes all look elegant in presentation.
That all being said, it is difficult to find a screening. But please do find a way to see this film, it is worth watching. Thank you for reading.