Every once in a while, I run a little at-home German film festival for my own amusement and edification. Sometimes the selections are oddly complimentary. After viewing the somewhat somber ROSA LUXEMBURG, I needed a little uplift, and this charming comedy was just what the Arzt bestellte, uh, the doctor ordered. Who says Germans are sullen and humorless? I laughed out loud at this one more frequently than I do with most American comedies. (Or is that not saying very much?)
This fish-out-of-water comedy revolves around a likeable, but randy heterosexual turned out by his girlfriend after she discovers him and a pick-up in flagrante delectable. Former girlfriends aren't exactly eager to take him in, which is kind of telling, and eventually he ends up taking refuge with a gay man he meets by happenstance.
No surprise, they bond in significant ways despite the differences in their sexual orientation. Or is there such a difference? Well, yeah, the MAYBE...MAYBE NOT question is pretty much a rhetorical one here, but it's still fun to see this naive straight guy bumble through Cologne gay scene and emerge a little better and wiser for the experience. (He learns to cook at least).
The young German cast is very good. The only actor I'm familiar with was Katja Riemann as the beleaguered girlfriend. Riemann, who can also be seen in THE HARMONISTS and BANDITS, shines here. The male leads Til Schweiger (straight Axel) and Joachim Krol (gay Norbert) are perfectly cast, giving more depth to their characters than one might expect. And Rufus Beck as the more outrageous--and, admittedly, more stereotypical--gay friend "Waltraud" is a hoot. All in all proof that German humor is NOT an oxymoron!