A typical festival film with zero audience appeal, 'Everyone else' could be used as a literally picture-perfect argument against state-funded film making.
The rudimentary story follows a young German couple on an Italian resort island. The man is an unsuccessful architect smooching off his parents (they live in their holiday home), the woman a somewhat bipolar concert manager. Their relationship is questioned by the man's lackadaisical loser attitude and the woman's whimsical fretting.
A story like this can only entertain, or at least interest, if it is a little funny. However the director Maren Ade takes very good care to avoid even the slightest trace of humor. Instead, the viewer is dragged along a two-hour stretch of two people boring each other to shreds - a scenario all too familiar to connoisseurs of German cinema.
Still, 'Everyone Else' won the Berlin Festival's Grand Jury Prize and its female lead a Silver Bear - which, considering her lobotomous approach to acting, is quite remarkable. This proves in my view once more the flimsiness of festival selections and the way awards are given away: a movie with such obvious dismay for any imaginable audience must surely be artistic and therefore prize-worthy - for culture politicians. Not for cineasts and the general public, that's for sure.
A much better German approach to the same topic would be the equally dry, but much more entertaining 'Windows on Monday' (aka Montags kommen die Fenster, 2006). That film has a weird sense of humor to it, which makes the drab couple-conflict plot work quite well.
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