Ich Bin Dein Mensch (I’m Your Man) stands as the German crowd-pleaser to beat this year.
Maria Schrader, best known for her Netflix series Unorthodox, gives a twist on the traditional romcom; the results are delightful, sincere and yet cheekily wry. Her Berlin-set, high-concept romantic comedy can be loosely described as a gender-flipped Weird Science. It sees Alma (Maren Eggert) enter into a trial relationship with an android, Tom (Dan Stevens). The chipper latter has been designed to be her ideal partner; the resistant former sees the experiment as a means to professional ends.
The script is sharp, its meditations on longing, satisfaction and individuality ring true, and both central performances are excellent. British actor Dan Stevens embraces his role with an uncanny verve, impressing with his physicality and delivery (in perfect German, no less) and places the viewer in a worrying crawlspace between “Hmmm, powerful manly eyebrows” and “Stranger danger, stranger danger”. As for Eggert, she was awarded the first gender-neutral acting award for Leading Performance, and deservedly so.
Screening at the Berlinale Summer Special on:
June 12 @ Freiluftkino Friedrichshain
June 14 @ Freiluftkino Museumsinsel
June 15 @ Freiluftkino Biesdorfer Parkbühne