"Drei in fremden Betten" is a German German-language television film from 1996, so this one will have its 25th anniversary next year already and nonetheless it is still shown on national television here and there in the afternoon schedule. I saw it today, but came acorss it a few weeks or months ago as well. It runs for under 1.5 hours and the director is Austrian Otto Retzer, not only a prolific director and actors, but he worked in almost every area of film production over the years. And he is still directing despite having had his 75th birthday not too long ago. Anyway, good for him that he has been so prolific for decades, but it would be a lie to say something other than that he is way more about quantity than quality and that is already a gentle way to put it. Still it can be said that this film here is nonetheless slightly better than most of the other stuff shown in afternoons on German television, stuff that includes the same genres comedy and romance, but is way worse. And the reason is that this film here does not take itself seriously one bit, while these other films from far more recently act as if tehy are indeed delivering authentic character studies and relatable depth while the opposite is the case. By the way, this film here is also linked to some others, even if it does not say so here on imdb. There was an apparently much shorter film with a similar title before that and they also made another a few years later. For that one they got back the cast with the exception of Helmut Fischer being replaced and Fritz Wepper's younger (and more talented) brother taking over. Plus Uschi Glas. Fischer died fairly recently after this movie we have here unfortunately. It surprised me a bit to see how old he already was in here because I felt he looked younger and the age gap between him and Wepper is especially surprising. Maybe the latter looked older too. One who definitely looks younger is the female lead Heidelinde Weis and that is also easily proven in this movie as we see her character's birthday written on a sheet of paper and she is in this movie almost a decade younger than in real life and I assume this is how they got away with the pregnancy story too near the end. I mean even then she was in her mid 40s already. Anyway, as almost every time when Helmut Fischer is in a movie, the South German component is crucial and this also reflects in the language with the thick accents that sometimes make it a bit difficult to understand what it is they are saying exactly as I am from a completely different region in Germany.
As for the plot, it is nothing special at all and this is also a nice way to put it. Feels a bit bizarre sometimes, on one or two occasions even cringeworthy, but like I said the film's easy-going component is what keeps it from falling apart. They do not want us to believe everything you see in here is real. They are just having a fun time basically. It is definitely similar to these Gottschalk films and that is fitting because the director worked with Gottschalk too during his long career. Anyway, I think this film also got a bit better as it progressed, even if it stayed as absurd as the beginning. We have two brothers who are visited by their rich sister and they find out she has a new guy and of course they are worried that said new guy is only after her money. Well, Fischer's character is worried. Wepper's not so much. Thinks really take a strange turn when our "heroes" learn from a barkeeper that apparently the man they are inquiring about is the gayest man in town. In the sense of "homosexual", not in the sense of "happy". We never really find out why he then wants to marry the woman because he is not treated like a greedy antagonist. Actually he hangs out with the guys and there seems to be a friendly relationship or something. This man was played by Gerd Anthoff. Cannot say I am familiar with him despite his long career too. The only other cast member I am familiar with is Gaby Dohm, but I am not sure who she was in this film. Her character's name is not even listed here on imdb, so probably a really small role. Then again, it is not important becaue she is not a talented actress either. All quantity over quality. Okay, what else can I add? Ah yes, in the second half the action switches from the female protagonist's love life to the two guys' love life, which fits the title somehow because it means "Three in beds that are not their own". Wepper's character starts dating a hotel employee. By the way, the two main characters own the hotel I forgot to say. Anyway, the result of this romantic relationship is really a mess because the woman's absence and her shenanigans turn everything into chaos and Wepper's character does not realize because he is blindly in love. Well, in the end he realizes and the two break up, but the charming young woman starts courting Fischer's character next and after initial skepticisms everything begins anew. She sure knows what she wants. So yeah, there are some mildly funny moments in the second half. Not gonna lie. Maybe it was good that Weis' character was mostly out of the picture there as she was in bed all the time because of her pregnancy. But she was not out of the picture entirely. We still find out about the father and also about how she may be entering into a relationship with her doctor. Nothing too specific yet though. The funniest sequence of the film was maybe a dialogue between the two male protagonists on the table when, after initially trying to convince another guy how sweet women are down there, they indirectly open up about the concept of homosexuality and talk about if they ever did something sexual with another man. Or would. They are clearly not amused by the thought, but at the same time it does not seem the slightest bit of homophobic and, as I said earlier, they are still on friendly terms with the gay fella. So this is a bit of a progressive film even from some perspective, especially for 1996 and for a film that is set in the conservative south of Germany. Not different here than in the United States. Another fun moment was a very brief, but funny snake reference. I liked it when this film took the politically incorrect route. Like I do in general. Okay, I think this is all then. This movie is not a failure, but it is also far aay from being a good movie. I do not recommend checking it out.