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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Affenkönig

star4x3

Germany 2016
Opening on October 13, 2016

Directed by: Oliver Rihs
Writing credits:  Oliver Rihs, Michael Sauter, Thomas Ritter, Thomas Hess
Principal actors: Hans-Jochen Wagner, Samuel Finzi, Oliver Korittke, Marc Hosemann, Jule Böwe, Jytte-Merle Böhrnsen, Tijan Marei

affenkoenigWolfi (Wagner) is turning 45 and hasn’t seen his old friends Viktor (Finzi), Ralph (Korittke) and Martin (Hosemann) for 20 years. What have they been doing? Wolfi, flush with new money, invites them to celebrate his birthday in his beautiful villa in southern France. He fills up the pool with sexy nymphs and the bar with champagne to await their arrival. Twenty years have made an impact. Victor brings his pregnant fiancé Sima (Böhrnsen). Ralph comes with his wife Ruth (Böwe), a psychologist, as well as their teenaged daughter Greta (Marei). Martin brings his son Knut (Jakob Schmidt).Such an entourage hinders the re-acquaintance process, but slowly the friends drop their newly fabricated facades and revert to their earlier teenager priorities: boasting, drinking, drugs, and sex. The women are not amused; the children are mildly shocked. Slowly, details come to light. Martin aka singer Jolly Boy had a one-hit wonder called “Kill the Rabbit.” Now he is broke and hopes to borrow money. Victor owes much of his success to Sima, but refuses to acknowledge it. Ralph’s wife Ruth collects reasons to break off the relationship.

The French countryside is beautiful, which is even more obvious when they take off on a promised bicycle trip. Germans, especially, young men, will appreciate the jokes and possibly recognize themselves. The events are actually quite true to life, as my 50-year daughter realized when she returned to Hamburg for a class reunion and talked to former classmates. The slapstick plot calls to mind a German version of a Sacha Baron Coen film. The four friends come full circle: friends, then strangers to the point of resentment, then forgiveness and finally appreciating old times. ()

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