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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.