Alles Auf Zucker!

"Weak"

Alles Auf Zucker! Review


This farcical mishmash of a comedy about a Jewish family coming together after years of separation on different sides of the Berlin Wall turns basic greed into bonding and forgiveness. The humor is a bit exaggerated -- okay, it's so exaggerated it'll test your patience -- but the cultural themes and practices will hit home to the Jewish demographic with considerable familiarity. Trouble is, familiarity doesn't necessarily translate into appreciation.

Jackie Zucker (Henry Hubchen) is a pool shark living in dependent circumstances in what was East Germany. He owes money to everyone, and his wife, disgusted by his pattern of false promises, throws him out of the house. His life is headed for the streets.

But when his mother dies, and a will emerges, that slippery slope comes to a screeching halt. In fact, things suddenly look way up for Jackie, with his wife taking a whole new interest in his losing ways. Smelling a possible fortune coming his way, she turns into his manager, sitting at his side as they listen to mom's rabbi-in-charge reciting the requirements of the will.

First, they have to become orthodox and carry out all the laws and practices of a strict Jewish home. She's more into it than he is, but they set about to kosher things up, with a vengeance. That's not all. The next demand is that Jackie must reconcile with his estranged brother Samuel (Udo Samel), who left the East with mom before the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961. Jackie, perfectly comfortable with the communist regime, stayed behind, incurring his brother's wrath and lack of forgiveness.

Jackie, a bit of a free-wheeling loose-nut, refers to his stoic brother as "Uncle Ayatollah." Their differences begin with religious commitments but he's astounded when Samuel arrives with his entire "mishpoocha" (brood) along for the required seven days of "sitting Shiva" together -- yet another condition of the will. West must go East because mom wants to be buried at her place of birth.

The exact monetary benefit of the inheritance being dangled before them like a flashy lure is purposely withheld so that the characters are free to imagine a grand payoff for their pains.

The completely predictable nature of director/co-writer Dani Levy's comedy, based on mercenary motivations, is worsened by frantically performed stereotypes, forced gags, and obvious symbolic references, as in Germany's own need for reconciliation. Which may explain why this first Jewish-themed comedy filmed in Germany since the war has been a huge success at the German Film Awards and considered there as a turning point in cinema dealing with sensitive wartime guilt. But that reaction only reflects tastes and responses at home. As for the international audience, this indulgence of cultural irony is too weighted with overdressing and fat to travel all that well.

Aka Go for Zucker!, All for Zucker!.



Facts and Figures

Production compaines: WDR, X Filme, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Arte

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Dani Levy

Producer:

Starring: Henry Hübchen as Jackie Zucker, Hannelore Elsner as Marlene, as Samuel, Golda Tencer as Golda, Steffen Groth as Thomas, Anja Franke as Jana, as Joshua, as Lilly, as Rabbi Ginsberg, Inga Busch as Irene, Antonia Adamik as Sarah, Renate Krößner as Linda, Bernd Stegemann as Gerichtsvollzieher

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.