"Wunderschön" is a German theatrical release from 2022 and the title means "utterly beautiful". I am saying this because right now there does not seem to be an international title yet for this film from my country. This adjective is used on one occasion in the film when we watch a photo shoot. The "wunderschön" is quoted from a camera man and supposed to be understood in an ironic sense because the fashion industry ruins one protagonist's life and health with how she tries to lose weight and also abuses drugs in the process. The unintentional irony, however, is that the word "wunderschön" can also be used in an ironic sense for this film. People in the audience who thought this was a wunderschönes movie, an utterly beautiful movie, are just like the camera man who cannot see an abomination for what it really is. Karoline Herfurth is the one in charge here in terms of all key areas and she has turned into one of the most successful German (female) directors by now. I cannot see why though. She has acted for over 20 years, but what I have seen from her behind the camera was not good and that is a really gentle way to put it. I'm curious to see her direct a full-on drama at some point, but from what I have seen now there is no way I would use Herfurth even in the same sentence like Schrader when it comes to the most successful recent German female filmmakers. Herfurth has two co-writers here, both slightly over 40 and not particularly experienced for that. With one of those she has worked before. Herfurth herself is slightly under 40. Her previous successes have resulted in her getting to work with Germany's most famous actors here. The names Gedeck, Tschirner, Schüle everybody knows in Germany and their male counterparts Król, Mücke and Brückner are probably not far behind in terms of fame and popularity. I have no respect for them though that they joined this movie. Also no respect for the German Film Academy for nominating this film and giving it an award even. Ridiculous that this is supposed to have the best score. It was nothing but loud and desperate to make poorly-written scenes feel special. As bad as the rest of the film. Herfurth I only respect a bit because she stayed out of the FJG sequel instead of cashing in on another terrible comedy sequel.
I think for the rest of my review I will just do some brainstorming and mention all the scenes where the film felt off the mark. I admit that until the middle of the movie I was still hoping I could give this two stars out of five at least (four out of ten), but then the drop in quality for the rest of the film was just so atrocious that there is no way and I think in total it's closer to zero. This key moment was basically when Gedeck's character kissed her dance teacher. Or the other way around, but she let him. Of course, we must understand that Gedeck is a truly desirable woman despite her age and if a man wants to be and stay with her, he must fulfill her every wish immediately, even if it involves breaking down a wall. The dance segment there with these two was already cringeworthy. Exactly in a nutshell all that is wrong with German comedy. The characters always have to be in the center. Every scene must be memorable and special. Zero subtlety. Of course, the hot dance teacher only wants to dance with Gedeck's character, only wants to kiss her later on. Of course, Król's character loses his cool and runs out of the building and never returns instead of supporting his wife. How low! I don't even want to think how we would be supposed to see him as a really despicable character if it had been him who had kissed another woman. But her not initiating the kiss and leaving right away and confessing it to her man makes it all right of course. I once saw Gedeck as a talented actress, but by now I think she is absolutely limited and also she is one of the weaker if not weakest parts of Das Leben der Anderen, even if that film still kinda keeps the façade up for her. The divorce plan here in the end is also something you always see in these films. Total escalation towards the end. Add to said divorce comment the drug overdose, the angry mother who does not want her daughter to play baseball and the tearful escalation between the two teachers. Of course, all this is fixed effortlessly for the happy ending there. Schüle's character is home and doing better. The mother watches the baseball game and is happy for her child, the two teachers are a couple and the two elderly characters are also together again.
Honestly with this shoddy elaboration on anorexia and drug abuse, I feel it is really abysmal how people who struggle this way in real life are almost made fun of in this movie due to the poor writing. I would not even blame Schüle. Nobody could have made this work. It is also all predictable since the start. The chubby girl will find passion in sport. The two older characters will get together, but the man has to serve his woman basically for them to do so. Not too much different with Herfurth's character. There her husband also has to change his life for her to be happy. And Tschirner's character also finally gives in after the PE teacher keeps courting her. It's always the same sadly with German comedies. They are so often so misandric. More cringeworthy moments included the voice-over narration with Herfurth herself giving us the oh so important lesson from this movie. Also a problem with German comedy films that they always take themselves so utterly serious. But an equally big problem is what I mentioned earlier, namely the desperate attempt that every scene must be a winner and spectacular. I mean okay if they included one or two from the fart during sex, the boy entering the room, the young girl with her tragic background, the chubby girl finding meaning and a boyfriend, one character being in a coma briefly, a couple about to get a divorce, a character having her 25th birthday, the same character cutting off all her hair and I could go like that for hours. But it's all too much, even for a film with this massive duration of way over two hours. I wish it would have been shorter.
There were moments when you could see how obviously very poor the writing was. The first would be when Herfurth's character is in her car and on the phone because she is about to have a job interview it was I think and this is not what a phone conversation looks like. Where one character constantly talks and repeats what the other says when the other has literally no time at all to say anything. I cannot believe Herfurth did not recognize this herself as the one in charge of this movie and it was only her in this scene. Nobody else. The second example would be at the supermarket when the cashier mentions the product one character buys. Also for comedy purposes because a male character hears it that it is a product for women. I have been thousands of times in supermarkets probably and it never ever happened like this. Not with me, not with the one in front or behind me. It was just creating an awkwardly funny situation that is void of all realism. Besides, when was the last time that two of your teachers had sex in a car in front of the school? Or inside the gym even? Of course, it always happens, the students just don't see it. Tschirner played one of these two characters and with her it is similar for me like with Gedeck. Found her okay once, but her quirky clumsy routine is something she shows with every single character she portrays and it is simply nothing talented, creative or funny anymore. Many people are misled and think it is, but it is not. Scenes like the one when she says it stinks and takes another direction to not run into the other teacher were a big mess. Very stereotypical also how she is such a cool teacher who eats melons with her students during class, where they stay on their chairs when the bell rings when she teaches them about feminism and who is asked by her students about her special item and who watches her student's baseball game in the stadium. Her best friend other teacher is of course also for reasons of diversity a chubby Black woman. You always get this with low-quality German comedy films. They cannot impress the artist, but at least satisfy the mainstream.
I could go on and on about all that is wrong with this movie like the "funny" baseball to the face scene, the cat food joke etc. Probably until I reach 20k characters, but luckily the limit is at 10k, so we are approaching the end. Good moments are not existent, okay moments are the exception. I guess the inclusion of Dirty Dancing was alright, the girl wanting to know how her mother feels, Herfurth's character's breakdown when she reads the allegedly sexist children's book, but as with the former when was the last time two of your teachers were making out in the grass while you were running laps in physical education? No offense, but the stuff you see here is all fictitious. It wants to be a realistic movie, but it is not one bit, especially not with the sheer quantity of all these scenes. One or two of these inclusions would have been enough. And what is with the chubby girl having the German flag on her uniform in the end? Is she all of a sudden playing for the national team. Yeah, right. Again proof that they need all the exaggerations and that subtlety is nothing you find in German mainstream comedies. What a mess! Just like how the character circle closes unrealistically: Herfurth is Tschirner's best friend and the latter's student is the daughter of the boss of Schüle, who herself is Herfurth's sister-in-law. Nope. There were like 500 people watching this last night at the open-air theater, which was maybe the fullest theater I have ever been to. So maybe you cannot blame the people who make garbage like this, but you have to blame the ones who pay for it to watch. That's all. I mean Schweiger is no god either, but this terrible he was not. Schweighöfer maybe. Massive thumbs-down.
Comedy / Drama / Romance
Comedy / Drama / Romance
Five women of different ages are confronted with their self-image and the demands of themselves and others.
August 03, 2022 at 01:26 AM
Tech specs720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
2 hr 11 min
P/S 0 / 11