Ingo Rasper, the writer-director of "Fashion Victims" is back with a made-for-TV romantic comedy that addresses--at least, peripherally--a real problem in Germany. Roman Knizka plays Ben Kremer, a young man who finds himself stuck in a never-ending loop of intern jobs. In Germany (and, I suspect, here in the US as well) many companies save on employee costs by hiring young people as "interns" rather than offering them full positions. This practice reached such a level in Germany that people in their twenties and early thirties are sometimes referred to as the "Intern Generation" (Generation Praktikum).
In "Ein Praktikant fürs Leben," which translates as "Intern for Life" our protagonist thinks he's on his way to a full-time job, only to discover that the company wants him to continue as an intern. He decides to try looking for a real job, but soon finds himself stuck in another intern position; this time at a powerful finance company. With a little luck, he becomes the boss's personal assistant, and soon discovers that the receptionist with whom he is falling in love is also the boss's mistress.
If this story sounds vaguely familiar, it's because we've seen it before in Billy Wilder's "The Apartment." It would be a little unfair to compare Ingo Rasper's film to that classic. Taken on its own terms, "Ein Praktikant fürs Leben" is a sweet little trifle; forgettable, but enjoyable. Roman Knizka, who also starred in "Fashion Victims," is likable as the put-upon Ben Kremer. The always stunning Anna Brüggemann seems slightly out of her element here as the gullible receptionist, but holds her own nonetheless. Rasper drops clues throughout the film that we are not to take this story too seriously. It is easy to see where things are heading, and Rasper does nothing to foil these expectations. It is not about surprises; it is about love.
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