Opening 3 Apr 2008
Christoph “Goethe” Kreiss (Lucas Gregorowicz) wants to give up his day job in a car rental company in order to become rich and famous as a writer of detective stories. He befriends punk Dominik Adler (Wotan Wilke Möhring) and big-time pimp Chico Weidner (Justus von Dohnány) in the hopes of learning about genuine crime and turning this experience into literature. Since this is a comedy, the punk is a softie in spite of his tough talk (he participates in call-in quiz shows and goes to prison like a lamb). The pimp is a bit more ferocious, especially when money for a stolen car disappears. Christoph, a nerdy type with glasses, also needs instruction on dating etiquette in order to go out with Ewa (Anna Dereszowski). In the end Dominik walks out of prison and Christoph celebrates his new book called Hardcover.
At this point we have spent 90 minutes trying to understand badly enunciated gangster small talk in German, which is supposed to be witty. Anyone interested in new German cinema and fresh German actors who will certainly appear in future films should add this to their list. Otherwise, watch the film on television, especially if you want to hear a cell phone ring inside a dog’s stomach or gain entirely new perspectives for the use of a ping pong ball. The good pop music is used frugally and only sets in at logical points, e.g., when Christoph drives the car. The silent intervals are restful. Director Christian Zübert filmed this German comedy in Düsseldorf. (Becky Tan)