In Rent a Friend the talented painter ARTHUR is suffering from an artist's block. Alfred does not bother about becoming rich and famous. He sticks to painting bright coloured Mexican hats. ... See full summary »
In Rent a Friend the talented painter ARTHUR is suffering from an artist's block. Alfred does not bother about becoming rich and famous. He sticks to painting bright coloured Mexican hats. Alfred's total lack of ambition increasingly irritates his girlfriend MONIEK. Moniek is a successful writer of a popular Dutch soap opera and she is continuously accusing Alfred of having no commercial instinct. The soap episodes created by Moniek are totally based on her own life. When Alfred sees one of the episodes, he correctly infers that she is having an affair with the executive producer. He decides to leave Moniek and sets out to show the world that he doesn't have a problem with making money. He starts a company called Rent a Friend and rents himself out as a friend to those in need of one. The concept is so successful that he soon is running a veritable "friends empire". Things really take off when Alfred hires the highly inventive manager Françoise. Moniek, by this time, is lonely and ... Written by
This is a pretty hilarious film that failed to get the audience it deserved in Holland or abroad. Underdog painter Alfred (Marc van Uchelen) is stuck in a relationship with soap opera writer girlfriend Moniek (Rifka Lodeizen), who does not find his oddball paintings of Mexican riddles amusing any longer. Snippets from this soap opera (acted hilariously badly - think "Boogie Nights") run parallel to their lives. When Moniek has an affair with her boss, poor Alfred finds out through watching the telly! Fed up, he moves to his sister's house and decides to go into business by offering himself for hire as a "friend". This leads to a string of sketches that involve some pretty weird negotiations about the etiquette of professional friendship with an excellent cast of Dutch comedians playing the role of customer. Business booms and Alfred soon finds himself at the head of a company called "Rent-a-Friend". He is joined by a determined young woman (Nadja Hüpscher, omnipresent in Terstall movies) with a Japanese fetish and a fetchingly broad Rotterdam accent. While the company continues to expand in surprising ways, Alfred's personal life also swings up. To complement an already very funny, if slightly episodic movie, the art direction places the story in an unfamiliar, slightly futuristic Holland that doesn't really exist - yet. It goes very well with the deadpan dialogue and the cheerful soundtrack. There are persistent rumours of an American remake, but I seriously doubt whether this can be topped.
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