Auds harboring fantasies of driving naked -- alone -- in a Porsche will coddle to "A Friend of Mine," another German film juxtaposing an introverted young man with a brash rule-breaker.

Auds harboring fantasies of driving naked — alone — in a Porsche will coddle to “A Friend of Mine,” another German film juxtaposing an introverted young man with a brash rule-breaker. Coolly helmed by Tom Tykwer protege Sebastian Schipper (whose debut “Absolute Giganten” also dealt with male friendship), the pic has the usual X Filme slickness but the few scenes with any meaning feel barely connected to their surroundings. Notwithstanding a publicity stunt that got the two stars in the Guinness Book of Records, B.O. receipts after autumn opening only achieved moderate returns.

Solitary, unhappy Karl (Daniel Bruehl) is on the fast track to corporate success, but boss Fernandez (Peter Kurth) assigns him a menial undercover job shifting rental cars, ostensibly to analyze the industry but really to see if he’ll react to the provocation. At the garage, Karl is befriended by Hans (Juergen Vogel), a motor-mouthed prankster who loosens Karl up and introduces him to g.f. Stelle (Sabine Timoteo, Vogel’s co-star in “The Free Will”). Despite a beautifully played, sensitive scene between Bruehl and Timoteo, the otherwise mundane script fails to make any genuinely insightful inroads into character. Soundtrack is aces.

A Friend of Mine

Germany

Production

An X Verleih presentation of an X Filme Creative Pool production, in association with Film 1, Telepool. Produced by Maria Koepf, Tom Tykwer. Executive producer, Sebastian Zuehr. Directed, written by Sebastian Schipper.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Oliver Bokelberg; editor, Jeffrey Marc Harkavy; music, Gravenhurst; production designer, Thorsten Sabel; costume designers, Anette Guther, Charlotte Sawatzki. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (German Cinema), February 10, 2007. Original title: Ein Freund von mir. German, Spanish dialogue. Running time: 83 MIN.

With

Daniel Bruehl, Juergen Vogel, Sabine Timoteo, Peter Kurth, Michael Wittenborn, Oktay Inanc Ozdemir, Steffen Groth, Jan Ole Gerster, Jens Muenchow, Alexander Speck, Alessandro De Tullio.

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