Schlussmacher (2013) Poster

(2013)

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6/10
A German Attempt At American Comedy
baharuka9 August 2013
Matthias Schweighöfer is a popular German actor whose first movie I watched was "What A Man". As you can get from the non-German title, "What A Man" is rather international audience friendly, containing music with English lyrics etc. and its style is just like a light American romantic comedy. So is Schlussmacher's.

The movie is about Paul who works for a separation agency, which is a fictional agency that helps people get rid of their partners without the drama of a face-to-face conflict. He goes to the "dumped" person's house and gives the bad news. Paul also has a lover, an attractive woman with dark hair and eyes (like his partner in What A Man- the Turkish Sibel Kekilli) but their relationship has a problem- you should watch to learn more.

Paul's adventures as a "separator" are fun to watch and Toto, the dumped boyfriend of a customer who accompanies him, is interesting. Is the movie amazingly good? No, it rather follows the footsteps to make an average comedy but I'm learning German and I watch this guy's movies to practice my German and have some fun. It's hard to come by a German comedy which is in the style I'm familiar with. This movie is just that. So if you want to watch something light from Germany to have some fun, you might give this one a chance.
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8/10
Charming ... and uplifting
olliemankz16 April 2014
I read baharuka's review of Schlussmacher with interest, trying to ascertain how it was like an American comedy. I guess the idea was that it was light. Maybe the Germans are known for being rather overbearing; I don't know, I'm not sure I have ever seen a German comedy before. Well, maybe. At any rate, though, I think I felt heartened as I watched the movie because, as an American used to some of the typical comedic fare, I felt it was different from anything I had ever seen coming out of this country.

I won't mention the places where I felt the movie departed from the American so as not to spoil it for those who may wish to watch it afresh, which I think would be a good idea; me, I don't even like to know what a movie is about before I go into it. Let's just say that there was some refreshing humor and I loved the morale of the story. I felt the story was actually a lot more uplifting than much I have seen lately, being positive about romantic love ... as the Desiderata says, Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Everything about the movie was well-done as far as I could see, including the fabulous spaces in which these 20-somethings lived. Many a man may like a car driven here, too. Berlin was a beautiful backdrop. At one point as the hero and his antihero sidekick ... whom you will probably come to love ... were walking single-file, some amazing monumental buildings, relics no doubt from the era of Kaisers and the like, reared up behind them like monsters' heads. It was only at the end when the movie resorted to a couple of cheap ploys and schtick that one could perhaps say that the movie began to seem rather American, or maybe pedestrian could be the word. Also, the question could be asked, how was our hero going to keep his loft? But who ever worries about and works those things out in a movie? I guess, as in life, you have to field the curveballs. I thought it was very cute ... and, again, positive. Worth the watch, imho.
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4/10
Schweighöfer gives it his all and fails again
Warning: Spoilers
"Schlussmacher" is a 105-minute (without credits) German comedy movie from over 2 years ago about a young man who works with a company that finishes love relationships if one of the two partners does not want to do it himself. Sounds a bit like a relationship version of "Up in the Air" (and the main character has a similar transformation), but sadly, it does not have the charm of that one. You could even draw parallels between Milan Peschel and Anna Kendrick. Anyway, a US remake is already in planning, so we will see if it happens. Here in Germany, it was one of the most successful films of 2013 in terms of money. Schweighöfer is (maybe after Schweiger) the most known face in Germany right now in terms of movies and he also directed this film besides starring in it. He got help from frequent Schweiger collaborator Torsten Künstler. The script is by Doron Wisotzky, who has worked with Schweighöfer in the past already.

Apart from Schweighöfer (who still is not a particularly talented actor in my opinion), this film has Milan Peschel (always collaborates with Schweighöfer), Nadja Uhl, Heiner Lauterbach, Torsten Künstler, Detlev Buck, Tom Beck, Badesalz and Schweighöfer's parents in the cast, maybe a couple more familiar faces I forgot to mention. How are we supposed to like the main character, even with his transformation if he accepts a job where he tries to get a woman to cheat on her husband, so the husband will not have to split his massive fortune in the event of a divorce? Such an unlikeable character (and that always goes for Schweighöfer's roles, even if they are supposed to be likable). Peschel is almost as lead as Schweighöfer and he is the complete opposite. He gets people together and not apart. He loves his girlfriend a lot and is not scared of serious relationships, he actually prefers these. There were several scenes that were pretty bad. like a telephone joke on transsexuals or several scenes of attempted suicide (where this film aspires to be more relevant than it is) or Peschel's character's bonding with that obese lady. I doubt he would ever agree to do that with how much Uhl's character is still on his mind. And the morally important ending with Schweighöfer's character's quote on how he ends the (professional) relationship was downright cringeworthy. Peschel is clearly the superior actor of the two and without him it would have been much worse. Still not a good movie and it suffers from abysmal writing at times. Not recommended. A failed attempt at comedy.
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