"Neue Freunde, neues Glück" is a German television film from 2005, so this one has its 15th anniversary this year or I should say "had" because this originally aired back in April 2005. It runs, just like the vast majority of small screen releases from my country, for 1.5 hours or minimally under and it is actually a shame that films like this without any quality are still shown so many years after their original release. Or that they are shown at all. Or that they are made at all. Your GEZ money at work, folks. But let's not go any further into detail here and talk a bit about this specific movies. The director is Christine Kabisch. She is getting closer to 70 now and one can only hope she will finally retire because everything she did throughout her career was a mess. This may sound harsh, but it is true. This does not only apply to her recent work on trash series "Rote Rosen" or the Rosamunde Pilcher adaptation, but especially those films she did in the new millennium. However, all before that (and it was a lot because she started in the mid1980s) was just as bad and completely void of quality. One of the worst filmographies I have ever come across. This movie here is really pretty symbolic for her career. However, can you really blame her? I mean she managed a long career despite a complete absence of talent. She also managed to make lots of money, so the ones really to blame are probably those who picked her to direct their movies. Or those that see her movies and mistake them for class. I find it shocking how somebody with such a long career can be so completely free of talent. The writer here is Austrian Gabriele Zerhau. Not too much to say about her. She is not talented either, but probably not as bad as the director. Still, the stuff she worked on since the mid90s when she moved from series to films is especially shocking quality-wise. The inclusions of these two women here make it very obvious that this project was doomed from the start. The inclusion of lead actress Christiane Hörbiger makes it sure as well. In her age group, she may be one of the most overrated actress here in Germany that have ever existed. Maybe I should say Austria. The reason is she gets in barely two different face expressions in 1.5 hours. And let's not even talk about the complete absence of physically convincing acting. Also she plays the same character in literally every movie she is in. Always likable (intended at least), always great style, always desired by men, always well-dressed, always a self-confident independent woman etc. Well, at least she found her niche and probably managed to trick some people into thinking she has actual talent. As soon as the material gets a bit more challenging, her shortcomings become painfully obvious. Like so bad it is unwatchable really. The best example here is when one character is dying. Or when she is mad at a few characters and physically attacks them. It is all so cringeworthy. About the supporting cast, there is really not too much to say for me this time. Jacobi managed to be on the Oscar-nominated "Das weiße Band" a few years later, which is good for him, but his character is also written in a way where he can add nothing. This is a great example for how these films are also almost always on the sexist and anti-male side. Look at the guys here. Her husband cheated on her with a younger woman, then wants to ruin her financially and/or emotionally too. Her son may be a bit closer to her, but still does not act like a role model. And the new guy in her life is one whose only purpose it is story-wise to make sure we don't forget how beautiful and stunning and desirable Hörbiger is. The actress and the character. Sigh. Limpinsel is the son by the way, he seems familiar somehow. Typical example of how you recognize the actor, but not remember the name. Heidelinde Weis has also been in many trashy Degeto films, so tough to go easy on her. She felt miscast anyway as she looked too attractive and healthy for her age in here to make us believe she is really struggling with her health, dementia it was I think, which normally always means that people stop taking care of oneself physically, but not the case here. Anyway, I guess she must also be seen as vulnerable, so she is not a challenger for the amazing Hörbiger.
The cast here is fairly old in general, but this should not surprise anybody because a lot of the film is set at a home for the elderly. This is where her family wanted to put her, but reality is that she goes there herself and creates something great. Of course she does. We also get the rushed-in unrealistic happy ending here. It is all there. Everything one would despise in a movie. And there are segments and shots even when you can see what a weak film this is, how poor the production values have become. For example, in the pseudo-emotional and pseudo-dramatic scene when a friend dies and they bid her farewell (why even call an ambulance or a doctor), we clearly see the corpse breathe. This is how much they cared about this film looking realistic. Shake my head. How do amateurs like these even get employed still? As for the anti-male propaganda, near the very end when Hörbiger's character storms into the office and confronts her ex-husband, the latter has his hand on his secretary's buttocks. Charming. There is a lot more wrong with this film.. No matter where you look, you will always find something. The thing as a whole is a mess needs to be said here honestly. I cannot go easy on this, it is just too bad altogether. Complete absence of quality. I really tried fairly hard a few seconds ago to find something positive here, something that at least minimally could change my mind that this film is not a travesty, but there is nothing. Be it the over-the-top soundtrack that tries to emphasize the drama when the actors are not up for the challenge, be it Hörbiger's unwatchable turn, be it the nonsense story, this film takes failure to the next level. The title means "New friends, new happiness", well this title could have been worse I suppose. Not that it is particularly good, but it is probably not as horrible as the product it is trying to advertize. The worst of it all is really how (as always with Hörbiger), this film pretends to be actually deep, meaningful and realistic and a convincing character study. A film that touches the heart. It is the exact opposite. A film that will bring back your food because of all the criticisms I just posted. The good news is they did not make a sequel. the bad news is that Hörbiger and the director worked on enough other equally bad films. As for this one here, this is a film you may want to skip at any cost. Highly, highly not recommended.
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