Was hat uns bloß so ruiniert [We Used to Be Cool] (2016)

Was hat uns bloß so ruiniert [literally: What ruined us so much]
Director: Marie Kreutzer
Writer: Marie Kreutzer
Cast: Vicky KriepsPia HierzeggerPheline RogganMarcel MohabManuel RubeyAndreas Kiendl
Seen on: 4.11.2016

Stella (Vicky Krieps) and Markus (Marcel Mohab), Ines (Pia Hierzegger) and Chris (Manuel Rubey), Mignon (Pheline Roggan) and Luis (Andreas Kiendl) are three couples who have been friends for a long time. As they’ve passed their 30th birthday, the question of children starts to arise. It just so happens that after Stella and Markus decide they want to have a kid, Ines finds herself accidentally pregnant and Mignon pressures Luis, maybe just to not be the only one who isn’t pregnant. So all three couples find themselves expecting a kid, but not really expecting their lives to change or wanting it.

Was hat uns bloß so ruiniert comes with a lot of praise, but I wasn’t all that taken with it. It is funny and it has a lot of charm, but it didn’t resonate with me all that much.

It’s interesting. The characters in this film are about my age (maybe a couple of years older), they live in Vienna, they’re about my class (maybe a few rungs up the middle class scale) and I definitely know people like them. But at the same time, I could not find myself in their struggles at all. Maybe because I always knew that I wanted kids, so the idea of actually having them isn’t such a crisis for me.

But mostly it’s probably because I’m just not a hipster (and I don’t mean that in a bad way, I have nothing against hipsters per se). And as much as hipsters don’t feel like they are a group, from the outside they so obviously are that you can identify them from quite far off. And all six of the main characters here and basically their entire environment is pure hipster. It’s a lanscape that is aggressively monoculture (as it’s straight) and I’m not part of that culture, so a certain distance on my part is to be expected. Fortunately Kreutzer plays on that with a sense of humor, so it’s charming rather than obnoxious.

Still, I had many issues with the characters who are all varying degrees of unlikeable in addition to not being relatable to me. And especially because they are so close to me in age, location and class, I was wondering where the people are who are like me? It gave me a weird sense of displacement that did not help me enjoy the film.

I can only imagine what it’s like when you’re able to relate to the characters and their problems. I think you’re bound to like the film then. It’s not bad at all, well-acted, often funny and with a good sense of pacing. It just isn’t for me.

Summarizing: Enjoyable but only to a certain extent.

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