From the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s film makers of German-language cinema were involved in a fierce battle to produce the unfunniest cinematic comedy of all time. It was the right time, it was the right place, and they could be sure that their efforts would never ever be matched.
During the second half of the mentioned period the competition stiffened, when the "Dudu" movies ("Love Bug" clones minus special effects and minus acting) were challenged by an ever-increasing deployment of TV celebrities and pop singers in leading roles of plotless garbage. However, I gather that the race had already been decided in 1971, and the winning entry managed to achieve its lows with a purely professional cast, that is: without Volkswagen, without game show hosts, and remarkably even without any regulars of the ZDF Hitparade. Yes indeed, I am talking about this film.
The cast is led by the eternally cheerful Waltraut Haas in the role of C-list celeb Eva Ebner. Frankly, the threatening qualities of her permanent grin ought to have been exploited for more openly sinister genres than musical comedy. Instead, it is paired here with an even more ham-fisted variety of thespianism embodied by male lead Rudolf Strobl who provides us with an almost complete set of amateur dramatics' finest, ranging from faked drunkenness to phony phone conversations. Missing from the set is only a cliched Italian Casanova, and this major part (well, useless for plot development, but with plenty of screen time) chose the director for himself.
The plot itself features Eva's elaborate ploys to spoil her husbands attempted adultery - without actually confronting him about the matter. While this idea may stretch credulity, its realisation is just ludicrous. Our Eva disguises herself in various ways, some of which are both pointless and so complicated that they would surely require a professional make-up artist for assistance. On other occasions merely putting on a black wig suffices to render Eva unrecognisable for her husband, despite sitting next to him and then bursting into song.
All of this sounds mediocre, typical run-of-the-mill fare from the 1960s/1970s. So, why is it actually worse than mediocre?
It is the comedy! The Germans have a reputation for being the unfunniest lot in Europe, but here is proof that this condemnation is unjust - South of the border they are worse, i.e. in Austria and Switzerland. The jokes in this film are simply awful. There are moments when the editing, the scenery, the camera distance etc. are clearly meant to produce a joke - with built-up, punch line and all. And then these moments pass and a joke fails to materialise. At times I could not believe it, rewound the tape, and watched it again to see whether I missed something - and I had not, the scene simply failed to deliver.
1 out of 2 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.