Not-bad German film that gets you in if you can deal with a slightly slow start. An upper middle-class exec discovers that he is broke and on the verge of losing his job just as he is about to leave on a South Pacific holiday (which hasn't been paid for) with his wife and daughter.
Initially there is panic and fragmentation of the family as they each try their own ways to best deal with the crisis. But as their options disappear one by one, the family is forced to retreat back to the family home, hiding in their basement (which is conveniently spacious and well-appointed, including, bizarrely, a swimming pool) so the neighbours will think that they have in fact gone on their holiday. This however proves a godsend as they are able by remaining hidden to discover crucial things about neighbours and work colleagues that they would not otherwise have known. The film explores themes of middle class neurosis that seem on the surface to be particularly German but in fact apply to all suburban Westerners - adult male identity, alienation within marriage, work as identity, and how our lives are governed by the opinions of our neighbours.
At first Albert the husband comes across as a bumbling no-hoper and his wife Sabine treats him as such, but as their situation becomes more desperate, Albert, Sabine and daughter Sandra grow closer and begin to work as a team to overcome the escalating sequence of problems they must face.
And if the ending doesn't raise a smile, you just didn't get it. Make the effort and deal with the subtitles, this film is worth a look.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?