Nerdy Jewish Nelly Sue Edelmeister, daughter of a New York mother and Berlin musician in Berlin gets straight A's, except for gym. When she hears her dream prince, actual royal Edouard, a ... See full summary »
Nerdy Jewish Nelly Sue Edelmeister, daughter of a New York mother and Berlin musician in Berlin gets straight A's, except for gym. When she hears her dream prince, actual royal Edouard, a fellow astronomy buff who studies in Luxemburg, patronizes the basketball tournament hosted there by a European school she wants to join her school's girls team. So she wants Max Minsky, son of the divorced Bavarian manager of the music café where her dad plays, to coach her, in exchange for the money his ma pays for supposedly tutoring him academically. In fact she makes his homework and neglects Hebrew class in preparation for the "bat mithzwa" (synagogue initiation) her ma is obsessed with. Written by
This is a pleasant if little film about a young girl who, while awkward and friendless, has a secret crush on the prince of Luxembourg, and hopes to impress him by trying out for the high school basketball team. I don't know how ridiculous that sounds if you haven't seen the movie, but it's not the film's plot line that's charming, but rather the great performances of the young cast, especially Zoe Moore. Moore stars as Nelly Sue Edelmeister, a half German, half Jewish-American girl who belongs to Berlin's growing Jewish population. She doesn't care much for religion, though, and spends much of the film trying to get out of having a Bat Mitzvah. Her real interest is science. She dreams of one day being an astronomer and the movie has a few great special effects shots in which Nelly imagines she's walking among the stars, forming new constellations that uncannily resemble her unattainable dreamboat, Prince Edoard. Later in the film she realizes that the prince is for the birds, when she slowly falls for new-kid-in-town (and basketball expert) Max Minsky. Though the performances were nice, the movie still felt really derivative at times. The whole "genius nerd tries out for sports team to impress an older member of the opposite sex" was perfectly captured in 1986's LUCAS. I also must wonder why the filmmakers chose to cast Adriana Altaras as the "American" mom. According to the IMDb, she is Croatian and grew up in Italy and Germany. The scenes where she had to speak English were extremely hard to buy. She's probably a fine actress, but why cast somebody as a New Yorker if they can't even really speak English? Another gripe I had with the film was the film's soundtrack. At first I thought it was really nice. I then realized that I enjoyed the soundtrack a little TOO much, and now I know why: It's melodically and instrumentally similar to Mark Mothersbaugh's work for Wes Anderson and Yann Thiersen's work in "Good-bye Lenin", both two of my favorite composers. The melodies were just different enough to avoid plagiarism, but the similarities were uncanny. Overall, a cute little movie with a star in the making, but not the most original piece to come along. It is indeed quite nice to see a modern depiction of Jewish families in Germany, and the family friendly tone of the movie makes it one foreign film worth bringing the kids to see.
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