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If It Don’t Fit, Use a Bigger Hammer

A slapdash workplace comedy every minute as long as unwieldy title, "If It Don't Fit, Use a Bigger Hammer" makes recent lowbrow domestic smash "Manitou's Shoe" look positively esoteric. Teuton auds may tumble for blue collar caper, but it'll be heavy lifting for anybody lacking the tools to decipher pic's peculiar humor.

With:
With: Willi Thomczyk, Dietmar Baer, Hilmi Soezer, Alexandra Maria Lara, Thorwath, Ralf Richter.

A slapdash workplace comedy every minute as long as unwieldy title, “If It Don’t Fit, Use a Bigger Hammer” makes recent lowbrow domestic smash “Manitou’s Shoe” look positively esoteric. Teuton auds may tumble for blue collar caper, but it’ll be heavy lifting for anybody lacking the tools to decipher pic’s peculiar humor.

At a suburban construction site, foreman Horst (Willi Thomczyk) and his loyal chums Kalle (Ralf Richter) and Kuemmel (Hilmi Soezer) are appalled to discover oily boss Werner Wiesenkamp (Dietmar Baer) has saddled them with aspiring young architect Philipp (helmer Peter Thorwath, here expanding his 1997 student Oscar-nommed short) to work on their crew. Primarily because he’s got his eye on Horst’s daughter Astrid (Alexandra Maria Lara), the boys bring the naive know-it-all down a peg by hazing him without mercy, even faking death of a Polish guest worker. But when an unexploded World War II-era U.S. Air Force bomb is discovered near their foundation, the hijinks come fast and furious as they attempt to finish the house. Pic’s message of inventive persistence is undercut by episodic story, loutish characters. Tech credits are fine, with some amusing f/x.

If It Don't Fit, Use a Bigger Hammer

Germany

Production: A Becker & Haeberle production, in co-production with Senator Film. (International sales: Senator Film, Berlin.) Produced by Christian Becker, Thomas Haeberle. Directed by Peter Thorwath. Screenplay, Mathias Dinter, Martin Ritzenhoff, Thorwath.

Crew: Camera (color), Eckhard Jansen; editor, Anja Pohl; music, Rainer Kuehn. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (German Cinema), Feb. 14, 2003. Running time: 101 MIN.

With: With: Willi Thomczyk, Dietmar Baer, Hilmi Soezer, Alexandra Maria Lara, Thorwath, Ralf Richter.

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