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1 item from 2003

Zus and Zo

7 February 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

opens Friday, Feb. 7

NEW YORK -- This eccentric Dutch comedy, Holland's official entry for the Academy Awards, concerns the conflicts that arise between three sisters and their heretofore gay brother Nino, who suddenly announces that he is engaged to marry the beautiful, and quite female, Bo.

Normally, this would not be much of a problem, except that the marriage conveniently fulfills a clause in their parents' will which stipulates that if Nino marries he stands to inherit the family's beautiful beachside resort in Portugal. Needless to say, Nino's sisters set out to derail the suspicious union.

As you might expect from this plot description, the remake rights for "Zus & Zo" have already been purchased. However, the plot details and characterizations might have to be somewhat sanitized for American consumption, as this rather wicked comedy delivers an extremely casual treatment of such topics as adultery. Not to mention the subplot in which one of the husbands must endure a series of particularly painful urological tests. The film opens today at New York's Quad Cinema.

Nino's sisters all have ample reason to want to escape to sunny Portugal. Wanda, a struggling artist, would like to open a gallery. Sonja, a writer, wants to put a crimp on her husband's adulterous activities. And Michelle, who runs a home for young war refugees, would like to abandon her philanthropic life in favor of something a little more selfish. Their schemes to wreck Nino's marriage generally revolve around getting him back together with the handsome television chef he's in love with, but they are unwittingly hindered by his oblivious fiancee.

Director-screenwriter Paula van der Oest infuses the proceedings with too much forced wackiness and overly contrived and complicated situations, but she certainly earns points for originality. Fortunately, the performers, particularly Jacob Derwig as the hapless Nino, Pieter Embrechts as the object of his affections (deliciously named Felix Delicious) and Theu Boermans as the husband coping with a variety of medical invasions of his genitalia, fully embrace the ludicrous aspects of their roles, with frequently hilarious results.


Lifesize Entertainment


Director-screenwriter: Paula van der Oest

Producer: Jacqueline de Goeij

Director of photography: Bert Pot

Production designer: Harry Ammerlaan: Editor: Sander Vos

Music: Fons Merkies


Sonja: Monic Hendrickx

Wanda: Anneke Blok

Michelle: Sylvia Poorta

Nino: Jacob Derwig

Bo: Halina Reijn

Jan: Jaap Spijkers

Hugo: Theu Boermans

Mother: Annet Nieuwehhuijzen

Felix: Pieter Embrechts

Running time -- 100 minutes

No MPAA rating


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