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  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Ich bin dann mal weg" or "I'm Off Then" is a German 1.5-hour movie that was released in theaters for Christmas 2015. It is based on the autobiography by famous comedian Hape Kerkeling. People abroad will have no idea who he is, but here in Germany basically everybody know him. At one point in his career, it became obvious he needs a break from the hectic showbiz industry, so he decided to go on a recreational religious walk through Spain and later he wrote a book about it. This is the book that this film is based on, so we follow him during this journey. He is not playing himself though. Devid Striesow is the lead actor in here and German audiences will see familiar faces in Karoline Schuch, Martina Gedeck, Katharina Thalbach and Annette Frier. So yeah, the "female responsibility" is carried by several actresses, while Striesow is basically the only male actor with a significant role and significant screen time.

    I thought Striesow looks the part, so he was a good choice here. I also quite liked Schuch's performance. On Gedeck, I am not really that big. Nothing here we haven't seen from her before and I would have preferred the film to focus entirely on Kerkeling instead of her husband, her one-night-stands or her daughter. The amount of elaboration we had on Schuch's character (stunning-looking too) would have been perfectly enough, maybe find out something very basic like about her job etc., but Gedeck is obviously a star, so they wanted to give her more material I guess. Could have done without that. The director is Julia von Heinz and she worked with Schuch in the past already, 2 years ago on the equally good "Hannas Reise", a somewhat similar film compared to this one here, only with a female younger main character. The trio of writers that adapted Kerkeling's work is also extremely experienced and has worked on many known German films.

    All in all, I enjoyed the watch. It is a healthy mix of drama and comedy, even if, on some occasions, mostly the ones involving Gedeck's character, it takes itself a bit too seriously for my taste. It works best when it is 100% comedy with the usual Kerkeling brand of humor. Certainly one of the better German films of 2015 and a nice way to close the year from a cinematic perspective. I recommend the watch, even if I was also not too big on a lot of the film taking place during Kerkeling's youth. Thumbs up, mostly for Striesow and Schuch, who have also received some awards recognition and it's certainly deserving. Go check it out if you can. A somewhat different road movie.
  • I saw this movie because I was trapped in a plane for 12 hours, I had heard about the book and I had made a tiny portion of the Jacob's Way myself.

    This is a tourist movie: locals and locations are just a nice background and shown stereotypically. Noone is really involved besides the pilgrims, nothing is explained about the places they visit and their culture. Don't expect tips and hints, in case you want to do the Jacob's Way yourself.

    It's sold as a comedy, but beyond the typical German jokes (tooth falling, guy falling) there is nothing really laughable about this drama of a mother who lost her daughter and just wanders around in her middle-aged crazyness.

    But the worst part is of course the moralistic tale of New Age people rediscovering the catholic faith, through penitence and abstinence. Recommendable if you are trapped in a plane for 12 hours, can't sleep and there is nothing else in the movie catalog.
  • kosmasp17 September 2016
    While I haven't read the original source for this (the book that is), you can feel it coming through. Every ooze and (line) drop suggest something bigger behind this. So while again I can't confirm it, it feels like there is much more to this that made it to the screen. Of course that can be argued about any adaptation. But with a self discovery and/or journey the very famous person (played by an actor and not himself, which makes kinda sense considering the title) is making we are expecting quite a bit out of it.

    And the actors do not disappoint, there are quite a few funny and hilarious moments. Be it his attempts at connecting or finding or discovering or other sorts of "failures". But only if you fail and never give up, you truly know where you are and where you should go (pun intended). Shortcuts included ...