There is an overall sadistic charm to this film. From the beginning the viewer is essentially being set up for what any perceptive person can see is a situation that is bound to end tragically. This ultimately makes Petra’s predicament so translatable. Her own bitterness is reflected in the rest of the women in the film. Whether it be an example of successful love, unrequited love, or bitter memories of a love long past, Fassbinder reminds us of the impossible reality of love. Regardless of what stage it is in, what once stood strong with passion will essentially whither under the lack of balance that the dynamic of desire infects most human relationships with.