Amiable atmosphere and an inventive premise help hit-and-miss German romcom “Nine Takes” get over occasional storytelling lags. Despite digital camerawork, pic appears best suited to bigscreen outings, as tube broadcast may unintentionally disguise the helming gimmick. At sesh caught, the predominantly German aud laughed intermittently, suggesting that the original script is just as erratically amusing as the English subtitles. Regardless, fests will be charmed by this low-budget effort.
As per its monicker, pic consists of nine single takes. Static opener reveals graduating high school nebbish Rudi (Christian Ehrich) looking on yearningly as girls, including the unavailable Magdalena (co-scripter and helmer’s sister, Anna Bruggemann), consider other possibilities. Opener plays flatly, but subsequent scenes make better use of the one-take premise where overlapping characters and their often implied interrelationships helps the yarn gather momentum. Helmer initially keeps to a static format, but gradually introduces movement culminating in the penultimate scene’s manic steadicam episode. Perfs vary, though older thesps portraying parents exhibit expert comedic and dramatic timing. Script is rarely as clever as its execution, but offers light laffs. Lensing is good within digital limitations. Tech credits are pro.