Middle class ladies journal's of the 1950's (in some cases even later) as well as books on marriage, were full of advice for women on how to best preserve your marriage and the relationship with your husband. Men's magazines were full of this advice (how to behave towards your wife) as well. The crux of these tips was: the husband is too busy to invest time in the marriage and it is up to the wife to run home life, but that the gentlemen were expected to compliment the wife and recognize her effort: give her some flowers now and then. Typical 50's mores of a deadlocked society (not only in Germany), but I know from my own experiences that European men in general, cause of the rebuilding effort (WW2 !) during the 1950's, were too busy with their work, which did put an enormous strain on them.
This marriage comedy is no less than a dramatization of these mores and as such interesting viewing; besides, although Verhoeven's direction leaves something to be desired, the film is well-enough made and paced to be entertaining and certainly the cast is good and charming without exception. And it it a queer sensation to watch something you know (at least I hope so) that does not exist anymore.
The script is clever enough; I like the music theme of the story. Luise Ullrich plays a former piano player, but the piano at home is false; she meets a tenor who brings some spark in her life; in the end the husband (Paul Dahlke, what a fine actor he was) gets the piano tuned again and joy in the home is back. It may be not much, but it is still more thought-out than the themes of the average film nowadays.
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