This review was updated on Nov. 24, 2003.
Another exercise in ruthless cultural criticism from the caustic Austrian cinema, broad laffer “Poppitz” profiles a vacation gone awry. In direct counterpoint to Ulrich Seidl’s “Dog Days” and Barbara Albert’s “Free Radicals,” vet comedy helmer Harald Sicheritz and writer-perf Roland Dueringer graft a National Lampoon-type situational plot to their withering satire. The results may seem vaguely familiar to international auds, but local in-jokes and distinctly Austrian nature of proceedings will limit pic to regional play, followed by good ancillary.
With German wife Lena (Marie Baumer) and teenage daughter Patrizia (Nora Heschl) in tow, swaggering car salesman Gerry Schartl (Dueringer) takes off for a much needed holiday. Their tropical paradise, Cosamera, turns out to be an ineptly-run compound surrounded by local unrest and populated by unappealing Germans. Worse, Lena seems drawn to a smooth-talking Lothario (Kai Wiesinger), who may or may not be the mysterious Poppitz who’s been hired to take over the car dealership back home. Sicheritz and Dueringer collaborated on 1998 Austrian B.O. smash “Hinterholtz 8,” and their broad brand of hit-and-miss comedy is strong out of the gate but wearying in later reels. Tech credits are bright and crisp.