The Family Jewels (2003)

  |  Comedy, Drama, Romance


The Family Jewels (2003) Poster

A man who loses a very personal part of his body to cancer decides he wants it back in this offbeat black comedy.


6.8/10
586

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


13 September 2003 | wribar-1
Uproarious black comedy
FAMILY JEWELS, which showed at Filmfest Kansas City on September 6, is an uproarious black comedy based on director and writer Robert Schwentke's bout with testicular cancer. With a M.A.S.H.-like irreverence for the medical profession, Schwentke attacks the taboos of death, balls, and cancer, with a deft absurdist touch. The Clash-inspired original soundtrack sets the tone. The film takes place almost entirely in a Berlin hospital, and is stylishly shot in bluish tones. It focuses on the main character's attempt to retrieve his post-op cancerous testicle. The heist is carried out by three twenty-something bald men attached to their rolling chemo-dispensers. The director uses auxiliary sound to great effect, from the snap of the doctor's latex gloves, the drip of the chemo drugs, or the screams of the horror videos preferred by the protagonists' roommates.

Schwentke is able to draw out amazing performances from his actors, particularly the main character, whose face registers dismay, fear, disgust and will-sometimes in a single shot.

Perhaps because it is autobiographical, the film shows great wisdom in how family members react to news of a life-threatening illness. The film finds humanity in the hero's refusal to let disease define him, and in the connections he forms with a waif-like female cancer victim and his two hospital roommates.

Not for the squeamish, the film is graphic but tasteful. And while the medical treatment seems-thank goodness-quite dated, the humor and characters are not.

Critic Reviews


Details

Release Date:

22 January 2004

Language

German


Country of Origin

Germany

Filming Locations

Berlin, Germany

Contribute to this page

5 Travel-Inspired Streaming Picks

If you have wanderlust, our five movie and TV picks will take you on a journey to the south of France, to the backroads of South America, and to the Great Pyramids in Egypt.

Watch the video

A History of Golden Globes Best TV Series Winners

Take a look back at the TV series that took home Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series in the categories of Drama and Comedy.

See the full gallery

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com