You might already be familiar with Matthias Schweighöfer if you’ve seen English language films like The Red Baron or Valkyrie. While the German actor has taken on serious roles in those films, he’s transitioned in recent years to lighter roles in which he not only stars but directs. Schweighöfer is nothing else in these comedy roles but fun and infectious.
Before our trip to Munich, my German tutor insisted that we go to see a German movie in a theater. There’s just something about seeing it on the big screen and having loud, clear surround sound that makes comprehension a little stronger. We ended up at What a Man and boy was it a great experience. Schweighöfer has had a special place in my German film loving heart ever since — a perfect for the German Film feature.
I’ve made no secret of my appreciation for writer Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre. On that basis, it should come as no surprise that Soloalbum, the film version of his debut novel, is on this list. Schweighöfer stars as Ben, the neurotic narrator who’s unlucky in love and desperate to win back his ex-girlfriend who’s already moved on. Silly comedy and hilarity ensue in this romantic comedy. Think High Fidelity-ish. There are artistic liberties, shall we say, between the book and the film but I recommend both.
What a Man
Schweighöfer’s directorial and writing debut, What a Man is a romantic comedy. After his girlfriend breaks up with him for a more masculine and adventurous guy, the somewhat shy and wimpy Alex (Schweighöfer) begins to question himself. He decides to explore how he can become more manly. That includes tasks like getting a tattoo, chopping down a tree and trying to pick up girls in bars. In the meantime, Alex reconnects with childhood friend Nele (Sibel Kekilli).
In Schlussmacher, Schweighöfer portrays Paul a man who works at professional separation agency, aka a “break-up artist.” But when a job breaking up with a woman’s partner doesn’t go quite as planned, Paul takes the man under his wing and tries to help him find new love and gain confidence. In the process of which, Paul learns about himself.