Review: ‘Kiss Me!’

Apleasant but unobtrusive romantic comedy without bite or highlights, "Kiss Me!," which flopped locally, is bound for lukewarm results internationally as well. The presence of star Katja Riemann may insure a life on video.

Apleasant but unobtrusive romantic comedy without bite or highlights, “Kiss Me!,” which flopped locally, is bound for lukewarm results internationally as well. The presence of star Katja Riemann may insure a life on video.

Film revolves around a sympathetic premise: A young woman, Paula (Caroline Redl), who obsessively steals fountain pens, decides to get married rather than join the career rat race. But when she falls in love with Fabian (Tobias Langhoff), one of her fountain-pen victims, she has to decide whether to switch to Fabian or stay with no-personality yuppie fiance Michael (Kai Scheve).

Unfortunately, that’s all there is to this first feature. There are no twists , insights, above-average characters or even romantic chemistry. Though the pen-kleptomania idea is cute, once you’ve seen one fountain pen disappear into Paula’s purse, you’ve seen them all.

Stuck with dull dialogue, Redl plays Paula blandly: Her character’s big decision is stated at the outset and never changes. Fabian, though played with ease by Langhoff, goes through the film being nothing more than a charming fellow. Riemann — the only name in the pic — plays the minor role of Caroline’s roommate well, but it’s a thin part. There’s also a comic cameo by director Detlev Buck.

Tech credits are mixed. Lensing by Sophie Maintigneux (who has worked with Jean-Luc Godard and Eric Rohmer) is a joy and saves much of the pic. Sound, however, is miserable, with plenty of echo and noise.

Kiss Me!

(GERMAN)

Production

A Nil Film release (in Germany) of a Spiel-Film production, in association with Bavarian Broadcasting, West German Broadcasting and Middle German Broadcasting. Produced by Mark Glaeser, Maris Pfeiffer. Directed, written by Maris Pfeiffer.

Crew

Camera (color), Sophie Maintigneux; editor, Nina Ergang; music, Joe Mubare; production design, Maximilian Johannsmann; costume design, Dorothea Kreiner; sound (Dolby Digital SR), Heino Herrenbrueck; line producer, Karsten Bruenig. Reviewed at Sputnik 2 Theater, Berlin, July 20, 1995. Running time: 83 MIN.

With

Paula ... Caroline Redl Fabian ... Tobias Langhoff Michael ... Kai Scheve Katharina ... Katja Riemann Johannes ... Heino Ferch Andreas ... Jacob Klaffke Director ... Johanna Gastdorf Professor ... Regine Vergeen Anna ... Jenny Ziems Detective ... Detlev Buck
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