With the birthday party of the most beautiful girl in the whole class coming in less than three weeks and the beginning of the summer holidays, Maik, a diffident 14-year-old teenager, has definitely a lot on his mind. To make matters worse, Maik's mother, a caring but alcoholic tennis nut, is in-and-out of the beauty farm aka the rehab facility, and his father, who is a real estate developer, is simply indifferent. Under those circumstances, the unexpected arrival of a new classmate, Tschick, will create quite a stir when the two class rejects will boldly decide to hit the road in an old "borrowed" light blue Lada, going from uncool to cool in a split second. As they set off on an unforgettable joyride in East Germany's great outdoors, without a cell phone or a map, the boys will learn about self-confidence, mutual friendship and the excitement of youthful love, in what will be, hands down, the best summer ever. Written by
This is based on a renowned novel for young readers (which I didn't read) and was turned into a motion picture by what is arguably right now Germany's most famous director, Faith Akin. For that I thought it was a surprisingly conventional film, although one with a lot of charm. Maik is a fourteen year old with fairly average problems: To his utter bewilderment, the attention of the most beautiful girl of his class eludes him (at this age, as a boy, I can attest that you are usually after girls which are totally out of your league), his father is emotionally distant (not that in puberty you have the need for long evening walks with your dad), his mother has a problem with drink (or never being able to get enough of the stuff). Not that I would have complained to have the run of the house for two full weeks after dad had handed over a nice wad of cash to me. Maybe the scenario of the affluent, but uncaring family has kind of lost its edge over the years. I had a distinct feeling of feeling more sorry for the father who didn't get a lot of gratitude for providing a luxury villa for his family, and who had to struggle with a wife who is yoyoing back and forth to rehab, and a pubescent son.
Luckily, there are plenty of elements of "charming oddity" such as the epic, empty landscapes of the Mark Brandenburg, or the boys listening to Richard Clayderman on the stolen car's cassette player.
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