Pendance, one of the few dances, is back and is going five years strong, and one of the movies they begin their festival with is Laura Lehmus’ Sweet Disaster, which is an apt title for the way the movie depicts the bumbling life of a fortysomething German woman. But let’s start this review by being nice, shall we? After all, that protagonist, Frida (Friederike Kempter), is dealing with the conflicting information that any woman hears when she gets pregnant. At least this movie has an apt critique of what it’s like to be a pregnant woman in this world. To have a ‘normal’ body that doesn’t act normal. It also doesn’t help that the man who gets her pregnant (Florian Lukas) stops answering her calls. Ruth Toma’s script also has her pregnant and still working as a pre-school teacher, especially because of her suspicions about a student’s life at home.
Sweet Disaster adds some interesting character details. The diversity here doesn’t feel shoehorned. Frida, by the way, is half-Finnish and the movie handles that aspect of her character normally. It is also well shot and is really quirky and expresses that quality through elements like Frida’s costumes (I own the same yellow jacket and I don’t know what that says about me) but all of this quirkiness feels ad hoc. Also, Frida participates in normal behaviour especially for someone who has a partner who cheats on her. We’ve all been there. The movie, of course, lets her veer of course from that normalcy. Some abnormal behaviour has justifications but the things she does between the second and the third act don’t, and no amount of course correction makes her actions forgivable. It’s strange to see a movie sandbag a character who would otherwise be the subject of conventional sympathy.
- Rated: NR
- Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
- Release Date: 3/10/2022
- Directed by: Laura Lehmus
- Starring: Florian Lukas, Friederike Kempter
- Produced by: Markus Kaatsch, Nina Poschinski
- Written by: Ruth Toma
- Studio: Field Recordings, Filmproduktion Fantomfilm
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