Director: Dominik Hartl
Writer: Agnes Pluch, Dominik Hartl
Based on: Gabi Kreslehner‘s [German] novel Charlottes Traum
Cast: Jana McKinnon, Marlon Boess, Giacomo Pilotti, Lilian Klebow, Susi Stach, Christian Tramitz
Seen on: 20.10.2015
Charlie (Jana McKinnon) is not even 16 and her parents are getting divorced, much to her surprise. Her mother Sylvia (Lilian Klebow) takes the kids and they move to the city. In her new school, Charlie meets Sulzer (Marlon Boess) and Carlo (Giacomo Pilotti). Although the two boys couldn’t be any more different – Sulzer is rich, loud and doesn’t give a damn about anything; Carlo is introverted, artistic and sensitive -, they are best friends and soon Charlie finds herself right in the middle between the two of them.
Beautiful Girl tells a story that we have seen many times already, but it tells it in a very nice way, making the film a sweet coming of age love story.
Beautiful Girl is Dominik Hartl’s first feature film. I have seen two of his short films already – Spitzendeckchen and Wenn’s kalt wird – and they were both equally impressive, though they couldn’t be more different than Beautiful Girl. (I suspect that his next film – Attack of the Lederhosenzombies – will be more like his short films.) But that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. Especially not if you’re into young adult stories and I can say that I am.
Hartl did an excellent job with the actors. The cast is very good, particularly considering their young age. The friendship between the three of them feels very real throughout the film and all three of them (actors and characters) are incredibly cute and likeable, even if the characters are a little too stereotypical at times. It’s a joy to watch.
But that is also related to one of my criticisms of the film: they had the perfect opportunity to transform the usual two-sided love triangle into a polygamous threesome relationship and they didn’t take it. I’m usually in favor of unusual relationship constellations (as long as they’re healthy), extremely tired of love triangles that aren’t exactly triangles but rather love Vs and in this case we didn’t get the usual competition between the two guys but rather open affection between the two of them. It would have needed only a small step to move off the beaten path and I would have appreciated that step a lot.
I would have also appreciated if Charlie had spent more time with her (female) best friend.It’s important to show homosocial relationships as well, particularly between girls/women. And I would have liked it if Carlo hadn’t been Italian but rather Turkish or Croatian/from one of the former Yugoslavian states. They are, after all, the biggest immigration groups in Austria (apart from Germans) and there are too few movies about them.
But other than that I very much enjoyed Beautiful Girl with its easy flow and its great soundtrack (mostly Steaming Satellites who are awesome).