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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Die Standesbeamtin

Starts October 29

Rahel (Marie Leuenberger) is a justice of the peace (Standesbeamtin) in a Swiss village where people bicycle to work and perkily eat breakfast on the terrace. Life is idyllic until an outsider, Tinka Panzer comes to town. She is a city girl engaged to Ben (Dominique Jann), a local man who left home to become a successful rock star. The ceremony will take place in his home town and, you guessed, it Rahel will be the officiator. Although comfortably married and mother of a son, she reminisces about Ben, her old high school boy friend with whom she shared a love of music and performed at local events. It’s just a matter of time before both Ben and Rahel realize they still have feelings for each other. But the wedding must go on, right up to the actual event where once again Rahel gives her stock marriage speech about calm weather and storms and sitting in a rocking boat. The happy ending is predictable.

This Swiss film is similar in topic to My Best Friend’s Wedding or The Wedding Planner. It takes a wedding to start an evaluation of one’s own life. The film is sweet, nice, and easy to enjoy, especially if you understand the Swiss German accent. Luckily, I saw it with standard German subtitles, which, of course, are no help if you don’t understand that either. The leading actress Marie Leuenberger, has had a solid career in the theater, having worked in Basel, Munich, and Stuttgart. Since 2005 she has been a member of the Deutsches Schauspielhaus ensemble in Hamburg. This is her second film.

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