In July (Im Juli)

"Good"

In July (Im Juli) Review


It never ceases to amaze me how much mileage there is left in the road trip and romantic comedy genres when they're blessed with a little creativity -- and the eccentrically dark chocolate German bonbon "Im Juli" (translated "In July") is nothing if not clever and resourceful.

Writer-director Fatih Akin boldly casts Moritz Bleibtreu (Lola's boyfriend from "Run Lola Run") as his hero Daniel, a socially insecure square and a dullard of a high school physics teacher. Not only is the hunky actor credible, he's also full of surprises as the character starts learning to take life by the horns.

The plot is also deceptive in its understated simplicity: Instantly smitten after a chance meeting with a beautiful Turkish girl (Idil Uner) passing through Hamburg, Daniel undertakes the first spontaneous act of his life -- he hits the road to Istanbul searching for her.

Dozens of complications, mishaps and misfortunes arise, of course, starting with the fact that he gives a lift to another adorable girl named Juli (Christiane Paul), a blithe street vendor with a jewelry stand who has been trying to flirt with the oblivious Daniel every day when he walks by after school.

But a double dose of unspoken, unrequited love is the least of their problems. Cars break down, have parts sold off to buy gas (soon they're driving without doors) and get stolen -- sometimes from the pair, sometimes by them. Passports go missing, turning border crossings into dangerous and/or comical adventures. Stowed away on a barge, Juli gets Daniel stoned for the first time in a creative fantasy sequence that finds them floating above the Danube. Daniel and Juli quarrel and separate but keep bumping into each other both accidentally and on purpose. When he's on his own, naive Daniel gets rolled by a sexy, sultry and very possibly insane, gypsy truck driver (Branka Katic).

All along Daniel is learning to come out of his shell and discovering his street-smarts -- something we know he'll need from the very first scene, which takes place halfway to Istanbul before the story rewinds to the beginning. Alone in the middle of nowhere, Daniel tries to hitch a ride from a guy who appears to be cheap Eastern European gangster (Mehmet Kurtulus) with a dead body in his trunk, and things get more than a little complicated.

Akin demonstrates an innate flair for subtle absurdity and lunatic twists in this endlessly enjoyable movie that turns clichés on their ears with the director's oddball execution. There's never really any question where Daniel's journey will take him in the long run. But it's the crafty twists along the way that are the picture's big payoff -- along with such winning, vivacious performances popping with unique personality that "In July" actually leaves you wanting more.



Facts and Figures

Production compaines: Quality Pictures, Wüste Filmproduktion

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Daniel Bannier, as Juli, as Isa, as Melek, as Luna, as Rumänischer Grenzbeamter, Dylan Gray as Ungarischer Grenzbeamter, Jochen Nickel as Leo, Cem Akin as Grenzwache, Sandra Borgmann as Marion, Birol Ünel as Club Doyen

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

Advertisement
The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

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.