Opening 27 Oct 2011
Maria, Waltraud, and Lena run a general store in a village in deepest Bavaria. They also sing in the choir and go to gymnastics class with the other women in the village, where everyone knows everyone else. For some reason, Gerti (Monika Gruber), the wife of the mayor, dislikes them intensely and is thrilled to discover their secret source of income. She makes it her destiny to disclose their potential disgrace. Because the general store must compete with ALDI in the next town, and because the bank insists on collecting the mortgage, it’s pure luck that Maria, Waltraud and Lena happen, quite by chance, upon the idea of selling telephone sex for extra income. After initial doubts and a bit of practice, each takes on her own phone personality as affectionate Maja, hot Sarah, and sweet Lolita. They print up flyers which say “The best our hometown can offer” and distribute them secretly in the neighborhood. In the end, the tables turn on Gerti, and she is the one who is disgraced. At the same time, the three girls grow in personality and change their goals in life; they are stronger for the experience and can look forward to a better future.
Gisela Schneeberger, Bettina Mittendorfer and Rosalie Thomass play the three women in perfect Bavarian German. Those of you who think you have finally mastered German, this is a good test, because Bavarian is a whole new experience, and definitely worth a try. Some of my German colleagues did not find the film to be especially funny; perhaps they dislike being made fun of, i.e., they took the silliness personally. Some critics compared this film to Calendar Girls from Great Britain. I’ll admit that, for once, I believe the British should make a new adaptation which would be hilarious. Yes, I would look forward to a British remake. Directed by Markus Goller and based on the book with the same title by Andrea Sixt (who also wrote the script). (Becky Tan)