Achtung Laughter Alert

When You Are Laughing

My child bride rarely laughs  out loud. Sometimes when I dare to  undress  with  the lights on her smirk turns into hysterical mirth. But usually good manners prevail. However laugh  long and  with heart she did when we watched the German Oscar contender Toni Erdmann. Generational  Gap meets Barry Humphreys in The Office covers  some of the angles. This is first and foremost an intelligent, adult and very funny film.

The tragedy of globalisation, the self rectitude of the so called professional classes and the total bull shit which we call corporate life are  gently but mercilessly satired, skewered and in the end shown to be the emperors’ clothes. Spoiler alert-best take them off!

But there is also the  break down of the  relationship between the prankster retired dad and his ambitious daughter. Here we are on familiar ground. The careerist workaholic ,(its usually a white male) is converted by the woman, dog, gay, child, Greek, coloured guy, Forest Gump whoever into something more  human.

That is the conflict between the super achievers who are paid enormous amounts and the rest of us. The moral is always ,they may have fine  clothes , expense accounts and power but they have lost the  real meaning. Which is, the relationships, which is where the shambling, rambling dad pops up, oh god this sounds so corny. Sometimes its the outsiders who bring the space men back to earth, sometimes its the dysfunctional adult kids, but in this case its Grumps. Typically Hollywood is already calling for a remake.

So a well trod theme  is played out in Toni Erdmann, but its not a corny film. In fact it has many totally original and subtle scenes. Will the ice queen crumble, how much comedy of  embarrassment can we take.  The film is a tad too long but a good German film is always a collector’s item. And this is a very good film  .

Talking of  having a laugh,I haven’t laughed out loud so much as when reading the Booker Prize winner Sell Out by Paul Beatty. Black laughing at black. A wonderful  antidote for those who despair of race relations .











This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Achtung Laughter Alert

  1. Wim Denslagen says:

    How strange: I ordered tickets for tonight for Tilly and me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s