Alle Anderen [Everyone Else] (2009)

Alle Anderen [translates to Everyone Else] is a movie by Maren Ade, starring Birgit Minichmayr and Lars Eidinger.

Plot:
The couple Gitti (Birgit Minichmayr) and Chris (Lars Eidinger) spend a summer vacation on Sardinia. Chris is an architect struggling with his career, Gitti is a PR representative. When meeting an old friend of Chris’, Hans (Hans-Jochen Wagner) and his wife Sana (Nicole Marischka), Chris and Gitti compare their values. Chris feels that Gitti is too free-spirited, Gitti doesn’t understand Chris’ sudden uptightness.

Alle Anderen sharply dissects the couple’s life. The dialogue is witty and to the point. The acting is great. Unfortunately, the ending sucks.

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[SPOILER WARNING]

Gitti and Chris are an unlikely couple. Chris is a rather conservative type and Gitti… well, she isn’t. Gitti lives with her heart on her sleeve and tells people her opinion very directly. Chris can’t deal with that. He gets alienated when Gitti tells Hans that he’s patronising Chris – even though he feels the same way. Gitti can’t understand that Chris suddenly doesn’t like that part of her anymore, when he never seemed to have a problem with it before. Slowly, the distance between themselves becomes bigger and bigger until Gitti breaks up with Chris and decides to head home. But before she actually leaves, she falls down in the living room and stays there, pretending to be dead and not reacting to any of Chris’ tries to get her to move. The next morning, after crying through the night, Chris carries her outside and starts to tickle her. The movie ends with them laughing together.

The problem I had was that I didn’t believe the ending. Everything up till then was normal and sharp and completely believable. And then they drop this ending on you, which has you question Gitti’s sanity. I mean, what the hell? Pretending to be dead? Really?

Also, and that might be more my problem than the film’s, I didn’t want them to work things out. Chris was a total ass. I would have dropped his ass and been on a plane back to Austria within the first two days of this vacation. I mean, it’s one thing to be insecure about an relationship and quite another to judge your whole relationship through comparing it with another couple (and an obnoxious one at that). And it’s one thing to be unemotional and not say “I love you” etc. easily, but it’s quite another thing when the only time you can say something nice to your partner is when you are sleeping together.

And Chris’ behaviour towards Gitti is just that – he never once says something nice to her, except in bed, in fact, he’s even mostly mean. He goes along with her jokes, so long as nobody sees it. He makes it clear to her that she is not what he expected,  yet when she tries to change, all she gets is condescension. I really wanted to hit him.

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That is not to say that Gitti was without fault. But at least she was consistent.

Well, but as you can probably gather from what I’ve written so far, both the direction and the actors pulled me into the story and made me feel with them. Birgit Minichmayr was, as usual, completely awesome. Lars Eidinger, who I had never seen before was very good as well. Hans-Jochen Wagner and Nicole Marischka definitely nailed the couple, who was more in love with couplehood than with themselves.

Maren Ade, who not only directed, but also wrote the script, did a very good job. But sometimes, the movie had some lengths and could have profited from some cutting.

Altogether, I’d recommend it.

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4 thoughts on “Alle Anderen [Everyone Else] (2009)

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