"Club Of The Lonely Hearts" is a German television movie from 2019, so still relatively recent. Maybe you wonder why this one here has an English title on imdb and the question is justified. When I just watched this on national television, the title was actually the exact translation "Club der einsamen Herzen" and maybe it will be changed at some point here on imdb, but now not yet. Like most other German small screen movies, this runs for slightly under 1.5 hours and that is why it is (luckily) not a long film. The director is Christine Hartmann, who was 50 when she made this movie, so still considerably younger than her three lead actresses here. Hartmann usually writes the screenplays for her films and she did the same here. Her career started when the new millennium began, according to imdb, and this means that back when this was made, she was part of the industry for almost 20 years and now even for over 20 years. I don't think her body of work is terrible, but it's also not good, still certainly better than this film we have here. I already mentioned the trio of lead actresses here. These would be left to right on the imdb photo Jutta Speidel, Hannelore Elsner and Uschi Glas. All three of them are fairly famous here in my country, but I personally also think all three are really overrated. The worst of them is definitely Speidel. I think the "best" is Elsner, but she is also more famous nowadays than Glas, so it's basically tie between the other two. It felt kinda telling though that there were large parts without Glas. She was definitely more famous 15 or 20 years ago and starring in the "Fack ju, Göhte" films could not really change that, no matter how popular they may have been. As for Elsner, you see she is the star in here. She gets the first scene in which she tells us and a confused guy that she was once a big singer and she still seems to miss these days as she carries around signed autographs all the time. They took the actress' own photos for that because she was also known already when she herself was young. And Elsner also gets the big final scene with the stage performance when she is back to her best and everybody is in awe and there is so much applause. Of course, there is. I mean this is an ARD movie. There always have to be happy endings, over-the-top happy endings even and even if the world was just about to collapse for everybody minutes earlier, like a miracle it is all fixed again. The best example is the phone call Glas' character gets.
But actually, I did not even want to talk this much about the story already now, so let's stay with the basics for now and elaborate a little more on the cast: Or maybe not because there is really not too much else to say about it. It almost feels as if they intentionally hired unknown actors to make sure that nobody takes away attention from our three glorious divas. Hansi Kraus is the one and only exception, although he is not famous anymore today either, but maybe some people still remember him from these really old school prank movies. Kinda interesting to see him now as an old man. Probably, this film here is mostly seen by older audiences anyway, so maybe some will remember Kraus if they make the connection. Most likely, they will not look him up on imdb and also his pretty generic name does not make it too easy to make a connection. His character was the prime example of poor (male) writing though. He isn't even there for the film at all and then in the end he shows up and boom Speidel's character gets a man as well. The scene near the end in which he lets his pants down (because he is a man), but has honorable attentions because all he wants is dance is among the film's weakest moments, especially Speidel's poorly-acted response as well. Men have to be deserving of such a classy woman no? Speidel's character eventually felt more at the center of the movie anyway compared to the other two if we ignore the performance at the very end and that was absolutely not a good thing. She is such a poor actress. No talent, no versatility. And even physically, you could not really see that she is considerably younger than the other two, but still she has constantly young men pursuing her. Of course. I mean the coffee fella did in real life, so this justifies the same in the movies. I shall get to that later. At the end of the second paragraph, I still want to mention that this was one of Elsner's last films. I have never been a big fan of her, but I still hope she rests in peace. When this film had its television premiere, she had died already.
Now, as for the story here, one cringeworthy scene after the next. The key plots with all the drama (the botched suicide attempt, the lost friendship, the water all over the place) etc. is just as messed-up as these small moments we have here. Take the scene early on when Elsner's character flirts with a guy who is probably not even half her age. And then there is Speidel's character's suitor, the one she meets over the telephone when he calls her. This is so cringeworthy honestly. I mean Speidel has it in all her films that once or twice per movie she somehow must emphasize the sexual component and tell us in a not exactly very subtle manner that she is still a desirable woman, sometimes through clothes, on other occasions through young suitors etc. How does she do it here? By mentioning her breasts. I kid you not. Oh well, it is not her who mentions them initially, but she just repeats what the horny caller said. And of course this considerably younger man comes to her place and wants to engage in sexual activity immediately. Of course he does! I mean look at Speidel. Every man on this planet would be grateful to have her. I hope you understand the sarcasm here. The irony. Okay, what else is there to say about this film. I think I mentioned most of it. It is certainly a bit sad to see Elsner go out on such a low note because it is an abysmal film at times and there are moments during which it also applies to her character. She definitely did not do herself any favors to star in here and the writer should also be a bit ashamed how they use the young Elsner for this film in a way where it feels as if the actress wants to tell us again in a not so subtle manner that she has had such a long and successful career. She was attractive though as a young woman, not gonna lie. Oh and of course also those references to Hanami, one of Elsner's most famous films, also more recent films did feel a bit desperate. I am of course talking about the Asian component here, especially in this scene in which Elsner's character meets her two old friends for the first time again.
I already talked about the happy ending. I mean they are trying to tell us here that these three are still so close with each other that it doesn't matter what happened between them when they saw each other the last time. The problem is just that nothing in terms of the writing (or acting) really explains this closeness. Not even between the lines. They just want the audience to take it for a fact. The talent is not there in terms of the writing especially, but who cares. I really applaud everybody in the audience who sees through this charade, even if it may be easy for the trained eye. Absolutely repulsive though that films like this are still being made. It was doomed from the start and they are not even trying to deliver quality. So many weak moments here that I cannot mention them all. Another would be the scene when the three women stand up to their children basically and the children just stand there and are amazed by what the trio is telling them. And every romance-related story line in here was also basically failure territory or close to such. This also includes the stories away from the three protagonists. As for the music, some decent songs used in here, but those are no creative achievements by the filmmakers obviously and honestly now that I heard these songs int he context of this movie, I almost like them a little less. Would have been great if some composer or record company had sued for copyright reasons and this way kept the film from getting shown in the future. Okay, this is really enough now. This is a movie you absolutely wanna skip and I actually wonder if they had a sequel in mind, but Elsner's death got in the way. Now it's probably never gonna happen and that is not a bad thing in my opinion, even if the price was (too) high. So this film we have here gets a dedicated thumbs-down from me and I highly recommend you to keep your distance and certainly not watch it.
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