© Senator/Central

Wo ist Fred?
Germany 2006

Opening 16 Nov 2006

Directed by: Anno Saul
Writing credits: Jane Ainscough, Bora Dagtekin
Principal actors: Til Schweiger, Jürgen Vogel, Alexandra Maria Lara, Anja Kling, Christoph Maria Herbst

This German comedy features Til Schweiger as Fred, a construction worker who wishes to impress his snooty girlfriend Mara. He pretends to be handicapped in order to win a basketball for her fat, obnoxious son. Fred’s best friend and co-worker Alex (Jürgen Vogel) is an accomplice and pushes the wheel chair. Fred wins the prize, but attracts the attention of the press; journalist Denise is wild to include him in a documentary about the handicapped. As a result, he must freeze in the role of a speechless, spastic person and live in a home for the handicapped among other unfortunates, including ambitious Ronnie, who is not fooled and threatens to expose Fred’s deceit. There are complications as Mara’s parents, as well as a fictitious twin brother get involved. Schweiger perfectly plays a stud labourer and fool. Either this comes naturally to him, or he is truly a good actor. Vogel is also excellent, probably The Actor of the Year having also just appeared in Der Freie Wille and Ein Freund von Mir. The real Berlin Albatross basketball team throws the winning ball. The original script was written by Americans Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio and I could imagine it starring Adam Sandler or Eddie Murphy. In the end the Germans picked it up for director Anno Saul who made the successfully funny Kebab Connection. I have no proof, but I can well imagine that this film, which pokes fun at handicapped people, was too politically incorrect for the USA. Germans in my audience laughed at the slapstick and at such sentences as “You don’t look handicapped enough,” all the way through and I’ll admit, I had couldn’t resist a smile sometimes. (Becky Tan)

The theaters below show films in their original language; click on the links for showtimes and ticket information.
Interviews with the stars, general film articles, and reports on press conferences and film festivals.
Subscribe to the free KinoCritics monthly email newsletter here.