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13 Semester
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13 Semester More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

And I think of all the good times that I've wasted having good times

6/10
Author: Thomas (filmreviews@web.de) from Berlin, Germany
14 October 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"13 Semester(s)" is a German German-language movie from 2009, so it has its 7th anniversary this year. The director is Frieder Wittich and he also worked the film together with Oliver Ziegenbalg. For Wittich, these slightly under 100 minutes are probably his most known work, but Ziegenbalg worked on a handful other somewhat known films, some of them starring German actor Matthias Schweighöfer. And you can definitely make a parallel between Schweighöfer and Max Riemelt, the lead actor in this film we have here. Riemelt is a couple years younger than the more known Schweighöfer, but in my opinion Riemelt is the far superior actor, especially when it comes to dramatic moments. This performance he gave here is a perfect example of how to act in a film that is a mix of drama and comedy. Apart from Riemelt, there are more rising star actors in here, such as Robert Gwisdek (son of Michael), Alexander Fehling, Amit Shaw and (for male audiences) Claudia Eisinger, who is not only incredibly easy on the eye, but also gives a very good film and that's crucial because she is really the only major female actor in here.

This is the story of Moritz and the title already indicates that it is about what happens to him during the over 6 years of studies of business arithmetic. But it is not really about the studies itself. Despite recurring references, these are just the frame for his relationships to friends and Eisinger's character who plays his love interest. You can probably call it a bit of a coming-of-age film, even if the main character may be slightly too old for that description if you are very strict. But lets not be. It is tough to say what the best thing about this film was. But in the face of Riemelt's and Eisinger strong performances, I'd still give the edge to the script. It feels realistic, funny, relevant and dramatic from start to finish. I never had the impression that I was watching fictitious people or characters that do not really exist. It felt like these people could really be anybody. And with the non-spectacular events in a film like this, it is always a challenge to make it interesting enough that I care for the people in here. Frieder Wittich definitely succeeded with that. The film never drags and I was genuinely curious about how the characters would evolve as the film kept running. Sure there aren't really any great or outstanding moments in here and it's not a contender for best film of the year, but it does not need to be. It's still very entertaining all the time and I recommend the watch. Thumbs up.

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