An engaging, sarcastic comedy of male midlife crisis with a personal touch, “Replay” has been a home-grown hit in Austria this year, but its local humor will likely prevent it from traveling far. Pic proves a diverting 90 minutes, however, largely thanks to its star and co-writer, Alfred Dorfer.
Dorfer is Robert, a high school music teacher who’s going through a mini-crisis due to the success of his former pop music partner, Roland (Lukas Resetarits), a distinctly mediocre talent. Robert’s a born loser who’s found out when he’s late for work, can’t control his students and is dubbed a dork by his teenage son. His sympathetic wife, Doris (nicely played by Andrea Eckert), works at an avant-garde talent agency where the boss keeps making passes at her.
When Robert finally takes Doris on vacation to Italy, he misses Vienna’s clouds and drizzle so much that he hops the next train home. On the way, he’s sidetracked by an ad for one of Roland’s concerts, where, invited to the after-show party, he’s suddenly transformed into somebody in the eyes of his acquaintances.
Pic ends on a false note or two, when Doris comes home and smashes Robert’s music room in the mistaken belief that he’s slept with one of her colleagues.
Technically, pic is pro, with Roland’s pop hits appropriately corny.