Opening 26 Jan 2023
Writing credits: Simon Hauschild, Laura Lackmann
Principal actors: Moritz Bleibtreu, Didem Ercin, Martina Hill, Anja Jamin, Wotan Wilke Möhring
Caveman is a dated, cliché packed and clumsy attempt at funniness. German director Laura Lackmann’s screenplay is based on Defending the Caveman, the 1991 comedy play by American actor and comedian Rob Becker. It hiccups along, dredging up all the differences between the sexes straight out of the 1992 modern classic, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray, an American relationship counselor and author. Any ensuing relationship differences that are updated relate directly to new technologies, e.g., “smart” phones.
Moritz Bleibtreu plays Bobby, an underperforming guy who dreams of being a comedian. He finally gets the chance, through a chance encounter, to try his talent onstage at a local comedy club’s open mic. An untoward happenstance for Bobby is its coinciding with a relationship cave-in with wife Claudia, played by Laura Tonke. Best friends and confidants Nike and Hoffmann, Martina Hill and Wotan Wilke Möhring respectively, live across the street (in the window cleaning scene) and next door (in the backyard snow scene). Esther Schweins, Leni Riedel, Thomas Hermanns, Alexandra Neldel, and Liane Forestieri add support.
Sandy Saffels’ editing is undiscerning—remember those scenes mentioned earlier—and lengthy. Pascal Schmit is director of photography, and music is by Till Brönner, Arne Schumann, and Josef Bach. The conundrum is why so? Perhaps Lackmann and crew have been in a cave? Unless you want to join them give this one a miss and wait for its DVD. (Marinell Haegelin)