Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
Germany, 2014. Summerstorm Entertainment, Warner Bros., Bavaria Film Partners. Story by Marco Kreuzpaintner, Jane Ainscough, Christop Muller, Screenplay by Marco Kreuzpaintner, Jane Ainscough, collaboration with Granz Henman, Thomas Bahmann, Ralf Hertwig, from an original story by Thomas Bahmann, Hans Turner. Cinematography by Daniel Gottschalk. Produced by Christian Angermayer, Gabriela Bacher, Christoph Muller. Music by Daniel Faust, Peter Plate, Ulf Leo Sommer. Production Design by David Scheunemann. Film Editing by Dunja Campregher, Hansjorg Weissrich.
Tom is the most successful hair stylist in Berlin, his sleekly designed business servicing only men and impossible to get an appointment at. He’s about to launch his product line of men’s shampoo when the investors announce that they’re not signing off on the deal unless he also makes a similar product for women. He has never cut a woman’s hair and, given that he is a full-on, out and proud gay man, knows nothing about what women are into, which means that in order to fulfill this requirement he needs to do research. He travels to a tacky salon in the suburbs owned by Heidi, whom he met through a messy publicity stunt, and begins working there incognito. As he gets to know his new employer he discovers, to his complete surprise, a kinship with her that turns to love, which does not bode well for his business and life partner Robert nor for the fact that he is about to be celebrated as a Good Will ambassador for his so positively representing the LGBT community. The idea that two people fall in love because of their personal chemistry, ignoring all previous assumptions about where they thought their life was taking them, is absolutely delightful; the stakes that are posed in this incomprehensible mess match that delight for preposterousness. The dramatic intensity with which Tom is told to investigate the world of women makes it seem like he was raised alone on a different planet (a hairstylist who has NO idea what women want?), while the reactions of those around him to his finding happiness with a girl reeks of idiotic misogyny (he’s not exactly joining a Satanic cult) and downright lack of logic (this bi-phobic movie might want to consider that he can still be an LGBT role model despite being with a woman; it’s not the same as finding out he’s a mass murderer). The actors are all appealing and the candy-coloured photography makes for easy viewing, but there’s a lot of heavy drama spread over what should be a more spontaneous and campy story, and there’s no figuring out what they have an actress of Katja Riemann‘s caliber and fame in a throwaway role.