a TONI ERDMANN musing
Billed as a comedy, there’s plenty of laughs and heart in this movie from Germany. An uptight career-driven businesswoman learns to lighten up with the help of her practical joke-playing father. Her father, Winfried, loves to find the humor in any situation, no matter how it affects his daughter. He creates a personality, Toni Erdmann, to get closer to his daughter, Ines, when she makes him leave after directly affecting a business deal.
The only thing that didn’t work for me was the pacing and length of the film. There was a lot of humorous interactions and weirdness in spades, but it didn’t add up when the films just ends. I may just be used to the typical Hollywood style of filmmaking in which there’s a huge climax where the characters learn the moral, themes tie up and there’s a steady resolution.
TONI ERDMANN runs 2 hours and 45 minutes, so it’s a slog at times, but the humor and surreal, human situations make it pass by a little quicker. Anchored by strong performances and an outrageous last hour or so, I couldn’t find as much enlightenment nor delight as Ines did. I have a feeling this might be a movie I can revisit in a few years and enjoy it or discover more to it. Maybe when the American remake with Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig starring comes out, I can revisit this story and enjoy it or discover more to the relationship.