In “Single by Contract,” a Teuton schoolgirl returns home after a year as an exchange student in the U.S. — where she no doubt binged on “Hannah Montana” — only to fall in love with a cutie who, unbeknownst to her, is Germany’s latest pop sensation. This return to lighter fare for helmer Marc Rothemund (“Sophie Scholl: The Final Days”) is a sleek, contempo teen-princess fantasy, elevated by appealing perfs and a strong soundtrack. Disney Deutschland release sold a healthy 600,000 tix last fall and has Eurotube, spinoff and remake potential.

Young superstar Chriz (Kostja Ullmann, “Summer Storm”) fronts the insanely popular new band Berlin Mitte, but for just-off-the-plane Lila (Anna Fischer), he’s just a hunky but sensitive guy named Christopher. Double-lives setup and Chriz’s titular “forever single” contract clause offer diverting plot twists aplenty, many of them involving Lila’s kid sister (Amber Bongard), who’s Chriz’s biggest fan. Fischer’s Lila is perky and independent-thinking, while Ullmann impresses with his presence and voice (the sharply produced and staged songs are clearly inspired by local youth phenom Tokio Hotel). Catchier original title translates as “Groupies Don’t Stay for Breakfast.”

Single by Contract


  • Production: A Walt Disney Pictures release of a Samfilm production. (International sales: Telepool, Munich.) Produced by Ewa Karlstrom, Andreas Ulmke-Smeaton. Directed by Marc Rothemund. Screenplay, Kristina Magdalena Henn, Lea Schmidbauer.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Martin Langer; editor, Sebastian Thuemler; music, Gerd Baumann; songs, Roland Spremberg; production designer, Carola Gauster; costume designer, Silke Sommer. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (market), Feb. 14, 2011. Running time: 104 MIN.
  • With: With: Anna Fischer, Kostja Ullman, Inka Friedrich, Amber Bongard, Roman Knizka, Michael Keseroglu.