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American Women's Club of Hamburg

42plus

Starts July 24

Poor little rich people in this German film by Sabine Derflinger and Mogens Rukov! Christine (Claudia Michelsen) and Georg (Ulrich Tukur) celebrate Christine’s birthday in Italy with their daughter Sonja (Vanessa Krüger), as well as friends Linda and Martin. They enjoy the freedom of 21st century values. Georg’s girl friend stays in Vienna; Christine slept with Martin for five years, but now has had enough; Linda goes shopping. Christine is independently wealthy with a good job in the media and Georg gets by as a medical doctor. Nostalgia sweeps over Christine as she watches Sonja cling to a cute Italian boy on a motorbike, something she also did years ago with Ciro, who now, sadly, has a beer belly and a weakness for a hotel receptionist. Luckily, Christine can dig up a toy-boy-beach-bum named Tamaz (Jacob Matschenz) who can’t be over 18. He is willing to trade his blanket on the beach for a suite in the local hotel all in the name of making Christine feel no longer 42 plus. “Ich brauche jemand der lieb ist,” (I need someone kind) she murmurs. Luckily, teenaged Sonja is up to the unfair challenge of keeping crazy Christine and heartbroken Georg under control.

At least these characters spoke Italian to the natives, something many tourists can not do. Perhaps they aren’t stupid, just silly. I felt sorry for Tamaz, having to do the jig with Christine (and in the end with Linda) but my son said, “He did it voluntarily, didn’t he? What’s the problem?” I had no compassion for these people but must admit that the acting is excellent, especially: Michelsen and Tukur (who often appears in Hamburg’s St. Pauli Theater), as well as Krüger and Matschenz, whom we hope to see more often. The best part was the luxurious apartment on the island of Ischia near Naples, Italy. I’d go there any day with or without ulterior motives.

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