What A Man Movie Review – Funny, Sweet and Puts A Smile On Your Face
If you’re in the mood for something funny and sweet, German romantic comedy What A Man might be exactly what you’re looking for. A big success in its native Germany, the film follows Alex (Matthias Schweighöfer, who also directed and co-wrote the film), a 30 year-schoolteacher, who tries to become a “real man” to get his ex-girlfriend Carolin (Mavie Hörbiger) back after she dumps him for their hot and manly neighbor Jens (Thomas Kretschmann). Helped by his friend Okke (Elyas M’Barek) and now living with his best female friend Nele (Sibel Kekilli), Alex goes on a very hilarious journey to gain back his “manliness.”
What A Man is Matthias Schweighöfer’s directorial debut and he definitely hit right on target. I had heard of the film a while back and noted it as a film to be on the lookout for, so I jumped on the chance to see it and it did not disappoint. I came out of the screening in such a good mood. These days some comedies tend to try and be funny by force feeding you comedy, but not What A Man. The situations and characters just happen to be funny, but I never felt like any of it was forced.
Schweighöfer is perfectly cast as the protagonist Alex. All too often people put themselves in their own project when they shouldn’t, but that is not the case here. In fact, I don’t think the movie would have been as good without Schweighöfer as the main character. There is something so likable and funny about him, I remember smiling throughout the whole film. Schweighöfer also surrounded himself with a great cast. Sibel Kekilli, who fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones will recognize as Tyrion’s lady companion Shae, is a really likable female character who is comfortable with her independence, and even though this is a romantic comedy, she keeps the core of who she is right to the end, which I really appreciated. Oh and she dresses as a panda once in a while, so yeah… I’ll let you find out what that’s all about when you see the film.
Elyas M’Barek is hilarious as Okke, who has even less of an idea of what being a man is. There is a priceless scene in which Okke takes Alex to a club dressed like a hip-hop star. It’s hysterical. And finally, there is Mavie Hörbiger who plays the very unlikable Carolin very… well… unlikably… is that a word?
As for the story, I found it quite refreshing and while it does have a few “romantic comedy cliches,” they’re the ones that don’t really bother you. And in fact, there is a big one towards the end with a twist. It didn’t end up exactly the way I thought it would, which actually led to probably one of the funniest scenes in the movie.
I cannot recommend What A Man enough for anyone looking to put a smile on their faces and a good laugh. I saw it in the morning and I felt very happy the rest of the day.
What A Man is out in theaters in New York and Los Angeles today, November 30th. Check out more photos from the film below, as well as the trailer, which unfortunately doesn’t have any subtitles but is still funny (no worries though the film does have subtitles).
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