Itís very hard to review this movie without giving the ending away, because it informs the whole value of the movie. To be honest, this is not really a gay movie, despite having a great deal of eye candy in itóas with many European films (this one is German with English subtitles) it has full frontal nudity without any great hang-up about that.
The acting is very good; the technical quality is high, and it makes an enjoyable couple of hours watching the ďwill he, wonít heĒ plot. Chris is a straight cop who is dumped by his girlfriend, with whom he lives. No home, no love life, he goes on a bender, waking up in the bed and the arms of a gorgeous and naked young man called Edgar. Edgar refuses to tell him what happened, but desperate for a bed, Chris moves into Edgarís spare room.
This is really a very straight, mainstream movie, which is using a gay theme like a soap might: to increase ratings without actually threatening the status quo. Give it a go if you want some fun on a night when youíve got the ďstraightĒ friends round. Itís guaranteed not to offend or challenge anyone.
I expected a gay love story, but this delightful movie is much more complicated than that.† I donít normally go for German comedy either, but I was totally captivated.† A story with genuine crossover appeal, slick and sophisticated in a way too many films aimed at a gay target audience arenít.† It covers so many bases it has to appeal to pretty much everyone.† And thatís kind of the point.† The labels we apply to sexual identity, and associated behaviour patterns weíre conditioned to expect as a result, just donít work any more, and I doubt whether they ever did.† Love and relationships are complicated and very hard to get right, whoever you are and regardless of whether you prefer to sleep with same- or opposite-sex partners.
Having my horizons broadened by deep immersion in gay lit & film has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life.† It doesnít take long to realise how wrong and dangerously misleading are our preconceptions about sexual preference.† As one character puts it, in Parting Glances (film review coming), ĎItís your dick that decides what kind of sex you like.í† And that sums up what this film is about too:† everything is possible: every straight man is gay, he just doesnít know it yet.† And this applies to women equally.†
Christoph Schwenk (love those sexy German names!) is a hunky cop working as part of a team conducting surveillance on a ring of car thieves.† When fiancťe Lise dumps him for a more reliable model, Christoph has to make changes in his life.† He loses everything, girlfriend, home, clothes, even his car, in a series of comical disasters.† That he takes in his stride, but itís a real shock when he wakens one morning, after a very drunk night before ended in a gay bar, with another manís arm wrapped round his naked body and no recollection at all how he got there or what happened next.† Pretty gayboy Edgar isnít telling either, taking wicked pleasure from torturing the straight guy.†
Clearly Edgar fancies handsome Christoph something rotten, because gay men always lust after unavailable straights, right?† Not really.† This movie doesnít deal in stereotypes.† I donít think Iíve seen a better depiction onscreen of true male bonding, yet itís realistic not idealistic because youíre convinced by perfect acting and an intelligent script that mixes laughs with pathos, and deep emotions with serious consideration of what it takes to make us fall in love.
Itís fun to watch how threatened Christoph is by Edgar, whoís so sweet & adorable you just want to eat him all up.† Christoph is a macho, homophobic, chauvinistic, misogynistÖin other words a regular guyÖwho learns to get in touch with his inner gay man to become a gentler more rounded human being, and infinitely more loveable in the process.† As Christoph gets closer to Edgar thereís a delicious is he/isnít he/will they/wonít they? tension.† He thinks heís having a midlife crisis but really heís learning at first hand what itís like to be a gay man, that the barriers erected by society inhibit men from opening up to their feelings, making friendships and finding lasting love.
Christoph becomes a real nice guy freed of his gender stereotypical behaviour.† Thereís a twist at the end I didnít see coming, typical of the way the film plays with our assumptions about male and female characters.† It wasnít what I wanted and I didnít really buy it.† However that didnít detract much from my enjoyment of the movie.† Definitely one to watch.† (German with English subtitles.)