Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Toni Erdmann

The Germans are not famous for their sense of humour or, as far as I'm aware their comedy films. Go for Zucker is the only German Comedy I can remember seeing so I didn't know what I was going to get with Toni Erdmann. There was also the slight concern that it was two hours and forty-two minutes long which is a pretty long time if it wasn't funny.

I think you'd call Toni Erdmann a father-daughter comedy, or perhaps an embarrassing parent comedy. Winfried (the embarrassing parent) decides his only daughter Ines is too career-oriented to be a satisfactory child and that he will go to Romania ( where she lives and works)  to sort her out. Winfried is a practical joker from way back and never goes anywhere without his joke false teeth and so a visit from him should be viewed with trepidation. He dons a wig and the aforementioned false teeth and gatecrashes a number of Ines' work functions pretending to be a life coach. Not all her colleagues are convinced , but they do play along.

Gradually Winfried does get Ines to loosen up and the film's best comedic moments ensue. Watching Ines' nude birthday brunch is a thing I will always treasure and it's worth waiting for. The delivery was mostly deadpan (unlike your average French comedy) and as its length suggests, it wasn't fast-paced. There was plenty of silliness and plenty of physical comedy to make up for the lack of speed and the film has more heart than many comedies. There are fart cushions and fake handcuffs and silly outfits and Ines' and Winfried's relationship is cemented as a result. My second German comedy was definitely a rewarding watch

Anne's rating 3.5/5

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