The additional 45 mins it affords itself isn't entirely justified - we learn little more about Ines and Winfried within that time - but the payoffs more than make up for the padding. Freespirited Prankster loosens up Corporate Stiff is hardly original material, but Simonischek and (particularly) Hüller are pitch-perfect, and those 3 or 4 classic setpieces provide a much-needed comedic and emotional release.
Really a kind of miracle of filmmaking. It manages to pull off so many things that both arthouse and mainstream convention would forbid. It also throws into relief how most art cinema is just as guilty of the boxes, stereotypes, and laziness of much mainstream genre fair. It's refreshing to watch serious, festival-ready cinema that doesn't fall into the arthouse ghetto of Kunst with a capital K.
3.5 This could have been under 2 hours easily without losing story or tone. Fascinating study of father's attempts to reconnect with daughter. Why do fathers feel compelled to show their love by acting like frightening creatures to their daughters? This need to "jokingly" play "the beast" is not a healthy dynamic. Girls learn to be scared in their first relationship with a man, which has life-long repercussions.
A despiction of a troubled father-daughter relationship with situations that border on the absurd (intentionally absurd). A really well made film which made me reflect just a bit on my own relationship with my father - both my parents, really - in general. And what is film if not personal?
My father believed it was his inherent right to embarass his kids. We'd be walking down the street and he'd break out in song. As kids we all had different coping strategies. My sister was the youngest and almost too easy to embarrass. She remains embarassed to this day. My younger brother just pretended it wasn't happening. Being the oldest I decided to join him in singing. It's hard to embarrass me to this day.
It starts out as the cliche of a black sheep showing an uptight prude how to live but thankfully finds something else going on in that tired narrative, which is why the running time is necessary. And although I'd love to see a Lena Dunham script starring Kristen Wiig, I can't imagine what kind of nonsense the US remake is going to commit against this movie--and everyone should be embarrassed to be involved in it.