Roistering sea captain Jonathan Clark, who poaches seal pelts from Russian Alaska, meets and woos Russian countess Marina in 1850 San Francisco. Events separate them, but after an exciting ... See full summary »
In complete contrast to the previous correspondent here, I thought Shoppen Munich (as it was billed when shown with English subtitles here in London at the German Film Festival in November 2007) was very funny, very well acted, and excellently scripted.
It's quite audacious to design a 100-minute film that consists exclusively, and relentlessly, of talking heads. But I think Ralf Westhoff succeeded with wit and élan. No standard filmic devices of, say, following a character's soul-baring pronouncement with some meditative minor-seventh-chord music and long-shot nature cutaways. But when someone said something that revealed their souls - well, we were hustled on by the man with the timer for yet another superficial introduction. Which is, of course, the point: the hurtling tickbox superficiality of thirtysomething urbanites, where everything is down to a quick question and answer.
Maybe most films are so clichéd and stupid that we English are ready to laugh at any vaguely intelligent and uncontrived cinema, but I can promise you that at the screening tonight (Curzon Cinema, Sun 25 Nov 2007) the full audience bellowed with laughter most of the way through. So I wasn't the only one guffawing!
My girlfriend (who speaks German and has lived in Munich) thought it was hilarious. I (who don't speak German and have not been to Munich, I think) thought it was hilarious. I'd recommend Shoppen (Munich) to anyone (especially couples...) looking for a smart, witty, original, wise film about the superficiality of modern relationships and the bewilderment of the generation who feel they've missed out on the happy-ever-after stuff first time round.
NB In the English subtitled showing in London, the subtitles (which were very good) were shown completely underneath the slightly reduced picture, not inside it. I thought this was a Good Thing.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?