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What a Man (2011)

What a Man: The young teacher Alex is abandoned by his girlfriend Caroline and therefore begins a journey in search of himself. But how he overcomes the pitfalls out there for a modern man? And what is it that makes a man a man?


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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mavie Hörbiger ...
Paul Alhäuser ...
Julia Niegel ...
Lilay Huser ...
Okke's Oma
Vedat Erincin ...
Okke's Vater
Luise Bähr ...
Krankenschwester Nina
Friedrich Mücke ...
Tom Zickler ...
Arzthelfer (as Thomas Zickler)
Noah Wiechers ...
Alex jung
Julia Nelles ...
Mädchen 1


Nice guy Alex has gone well out of his way to accommodate his petulant and demanding girlfriend Carolin, so it comes as a complete surprise when he finds out she's cheated on him and thinks little of their relationship (ending it). As he actively questions if he's all the man he should be, best friends Okke and Nele stick loyally by his side to weather him through it. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and language | See all certifications »





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Release Date:

25 August 2011 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Todo un hombre  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Alex: [translation] I think you're so afraid of being lied to that you can't be honest with yourself.
Nele: I'd rather lie to myself than accept being lied to by an old friend.
See more »


1000 und 1 Nacht (Zomm!)
Music by G. Walgar, Lyrics by N. Heirel
Performed by Elyas M'Barek
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User Reviews

A lesson on what women want and men want to be
10 February 2015 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

"What a Man" is the first movie that famous German actor Matthias Schweighöfer wrote and directed himself. Of course he also plays the central character, a man stuck between two women and constantly trying to master the fine line between masculinity and his not very masculine authentic self. He gets commanded around by everybody somehow and is just not an alpha male. This is also the reason why his girlfriend leaves him and starts seeing the stallion guy who lives in the same house. Schweighöfer's character she refers to as a chaotic, clumsy pony instead. The film's title song is from German Eurovision Song Contest winner Lena Mayer-Landrut giving us her version of the famous "What a Man".

The ex-girlfriend is played by Mavie Hörbiger, the best friend, who turns into a love interest, is played by Sibel Kekilli, who you may have seen on "Game of Thrones" these days. Elyas M'Barek is also in the film, but is fairly forgettable and plays the same character he always does. Milan Peschel, probably the most talented cast member alongside Kekilli, is also in this movie, but that is pretty much a given as he and Schweighöfer have been in so many films together. Initially, it seemed Kekilli's character will maybe not be a love interest when she has that hunky French guy at her place, but when we find out they split and he has another, it is really obvious. And of course, Hörbiger's character also wants Schweighöfer's back as great masculinity is apparently not the best feature for a relationship.

I really like Kekilli, but even i have to say the dramatic scenes between her and Schweighöfer just did not really wow me. She has done better in "Die Fremde", a truly brilliant performance. The comedy in "What a Man", occasionally succeeds, but not all the time. This film has definitely some weaknesses. First of all, Schweighöfer never really impressed me that much as an actor and the whole love confession scene with the pandas (small cameo Nora Tschirner, later Frederike Kempter and Katharina Schüttler with cameos too) was pretty cringeworthy I have to say. The script certainly gets worse as the film keeps going. The childhood flashback added nothing for me, where people wondered if he was a girl or boy, just like the story with the kid who reminded him of his childhood. The final approach to overcoming one's fear of flying in order to prove he is a real man felt fairly insignificant to me. It all seemed so important suddenly and there was only one small reference right at the beginning of the film to that, so I would have preferred a different ending.

However, if you are in for a light comedy to watch with your girlfriend/boyfriend, this can actually be a decent choice. There's several parts where you will laugh for sure. So, also taking into account that Schweighöfer has not worked as a writer/director before that, I'd say: Recommended.

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