Produced by Rolf Schmid.
Directed by Christof Schertenleib. Screenplay, Schertenleib, Michael Glawogger. Camera (color), Hansueli Schenkel; editor, Andrea Wagner; art director, Monica Rottmeier; costumes, Sybille Welti. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (competing), Aug. 10, 1999. Original German title: Grosse Gefuehle. (German dialogue.) Running time: 118 MIN.
With: Anne Weber, Stefan Suske, Manuela Biedermann, Markus Wolff, Delia Mayer , Andre Jung, Karin Kienzer.
Though it has its moments, “Big Feelings” is an extremely leisurely climb up the relationship-comedy mountain that will prove too airless for auds beyond Switzerland. Yarn strains for a simple, fairy-tale charm in which pacing and tempo just don’t figure.
Linus (Stefan Suske) is a middle-aged Austrian bookseller who leaves his tarot card–reading wife (Karin Kienzer) and teen-angst-ridden son in Vienna to pursue his relationship in Bern, Switzerland, with German sociologist Christa (Anne Weber), who has a college post. While he’s having a quickie with Ka (Delia Mayer) on the train over, Christa is rolling in the hay with mountain recluse Andre (Andre Jung). While Linus and the “emotionally polygamous” Christa work out their relationship, Linus’ nerdy colleague, Franz (Markus Wolff), is targeted by Christa’s idealistic flatmate, Sybil (Manuela Biedermann). Then Ka turns up, looking for Linus. Pic essentially satirizes Swiss-German conservatism and emotional constipation, but apart from the final reels, as all characters converge, it lacks sharpness and bite. Suske and the spunky Weber are engaging as the leads, and Mayer adds some spice in a smaller role. Picturesque Bern and the Jura mountains look just fine.