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Not only filmed in a sort-of documentary manner, but also played accordingly very well (except for maybe one scene, in which breaking up is the major topic). The story may not be too inventive, but the manner of presenting it makes the movie worth watching. The facts, that all concerts were set up in a realistic environment with people not knowing that they went to a movie shooting and that the band members are actually not actors give it an authentic atmosphere. The dialogs are quite entertaining, because a lot of clichés about men and women and their relationships are picked up in a humorous way. Men are fallible - don't we all agree on that ;) Heike Makatsch is great, and so are Juergen Vogel and Florian Lukas. It's almost like meeting friends from my own past. Having lived in a town on the German coast for several years, I also like the scene with the lonely sailor. Was he an actor or a real German sailor?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
At the core of the extremely simplistic plot lies a fairly corny scenario. Markus and Tobias are brothers. A few years ago Markus has slept with Tobias' girlfriend Ellen. Now Tobias is not too happy about it and still holds a grudge. Sounds boring? The director must have thought the same, so in order to spice things up a bit he gives the brothers a 'bohemian' background, i.e. one is a musician and one is a filmmaker. So Markus tours Germany with his band of assorted Indie nerds while Tobias has the ground breaking idea of making a film about his brother. Thus they drive around Germany and -don't you just know it- a few days into the tour Ellen joins the wacky bunch and the plot thickens; at least that's what the director wants us to believe. In truth it just provides an opportunity to place the troubled Ménage à trois in the back of the bus and let them discuss love, life and related expectation at some length. Well, if I want to hear some half baked ideas about such complex issues I nip around the corner to my local pub. Not even filming on location in Berlin, Hamburg and a string of seedy indie venues can give those dull characters any streetcred. Shot and edited unmistakably in Dogma style the director apparently aims for maximum authenticity and to give him his due, technically it leaves very little to be desired if you favor shaky footage that is rather grainy due to lack of additional lighting. However, as yet another schmaltzy dialog pops up, you can't help but think that the setting is nothing but a marketing strategy. Neither the cursory glance at the problems of film-making nor at being a musician propels the bleak plot a single inch forward as they don't affect the action in any form. If those more than common problems would be discussed in such a dreary fashion by two bank accountants from Lüchow-Dannenberg, no-one would give a toss and it would have be more than unlikely that this project had found financing, let alone an audience. As a great deal of the promotion traded on the fact that the whole concept incorporates real musicians from Tomte and Kettcar (Germany's current toast of alternative rock) and all the gigs where filmed in front of a real audience, it came as no surprise that the fictitious band of Markus would put out a CD to coincide with the release of the film. In fact, as the band is depicted at great length performing song after song without any relation to the drama at hand, at times I felt as if I was watching a promotional video for the album. To provide some form of climax, no matter how contrived, the wrecked mother gets dragged to one of the shows and predictably it all ends in disaster. But for all the grime, sweat, booze and tears that are thrown in to give the story some meaning, the plot remains unimaginative and shallow. However, if you are a fan of aforementioned indie poppers Tomte and Kettcar (and I know there are a great many), this might hold some interest for you. Plus, Jürgen Vogel is as enjoyable as ever.
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