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Help I’m a Boy!

Those looking for a quick fix between bigscreen "Harry Potter" episodes could do worse than "Help I'm a Boy!," an ingratiating German fantasy that finds two schoolkids body-switched by wizardry a la "Freaky Friday." This family diversion is fast-paced and funny enough to hold attention spans of various ages.

With:
With: Sarah Hannemann , Nick Seidensticker, Philipp Blank, Pinkas Braun, Dominique Horwitz, Marie Lou Sellem, Nina Petri, Stephan Benson, Tanja Schumann, Nadine Fano.

Those looking for a quick fix between bigscreen “Harry Potter” episodes could do worse than “Help I’m a Boy!,” an ingratiating German fantasy that finds two schoolkids body-switched by wizardry a la “Freaky Friday.” While staged at just a teensy fraction of the production or f/x scale of the “Potters,” this family diversion is fast-paced and funny enough to hold attention spans of various ages. Dubbed foreign-lingo versions should lead to friendly family shelf space at the vidstore, and select broadcast sales.

Accidental find of a wizard’s magic spell-book leads to the overnight body-swap between teacher’s pet Emma (Sarah Hannemann) and underperformer Mickey (Nick Seidensticker). They hadn’t liked each other previously, but now realize they’ll have to cooperate at finding a way back into their regular bodies. While trying to sort it out, duo must play along with their new identities — Mickey bridling at Emma’s frantic schedule as an ace student/Olympic-tracked swimmer, Emma bewildered by Mickey’s chaotic home life with two artist-parents. But each learns to enjoy and appreciate the other’s style before it’s switch-back time. Leaning more on comedy than suspense or fantasy, modest pic is forgettable but fun.

Help I'm a Boy!

Germany

Production: A Studio Hamburg Family Entertainment and VCC Perfect Pictures production in association with Hamburger Filmwerkstatt, Hamburger Filmforderung, BKM, and Kuratorium Junger Deutscher Film. Produced by Ronald Kruschak. Executive producer, Dirk R. Duwel. Directed by Oliver Dommenget. Screenplay, Astrid Strother, from a story by Dommenget, Ronald Kruschak, Stroher.

Crew: Camera (color), Georgij Pestov; editor, Monika Schbuchard; music; Jens Langbein, Robert Schulte Hemming; production designer, Sonja Stromer. Reviewed at Roxie Cinema, San Francisco, Sept. 17, 2002 (In Mill Valley Film Festival.) Original title: Verzauberte Emma Oder Hilfe, Ich Bin Ein Junge. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: With: Sarah Hannemann , Nick Seidensticker, Philipp Blank, Pinkas Braun, Dominique Horwitz, Marie Lou Sellem, Nina Petri, Stephan Benson, Tanja Schumann, Nadine Fano.

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