© X-Verleih/Warner Bros.

Germany 2006

Opening 3 May 2007

Directed by: Ralf Westhoff
Writing credits: Ralf Westhoff
Principal actors: Sebastian Weber, Anna Böger, Felix Hellmann, Katharina Schubert, David Baalcke

The title is misleading. We are not being dragged through shopping malls and sales outlets. Instead we are being introduced to eighteen young singles living in the city of Munich. They are looking for the love of their life or just a date for one night. We hear about their frustrations, their dislikes, their disappointments, their expectations and desires. We witness their loneliness, their ego trips and their weakness. Why do so many singles live in our major cities? Why is it so difficult to meet each other? Are most expectations too unrealistic? The idea of speed-dating provides a good structure for a glimpse into the lives of a certain single generation with quite a few comical situations.

Nine young women are sitting opposite nine young men. The battle of speed-dating commences. The bell rings after five minutes. A new partner is to be faced, to be tested, scrutinised, chosen or discarded. (This is where the comparison to shopping applies.) There is constant talking. We listen to the shy one, the self-conscious one, the rude one, the arrogant or the overbearing one. The mood changes from civilised behaviour to aggressive shouting from bold to timid and vice versa. The most complex and varied people have turned up. Some of them we would recognise in our daily life. They are stupid or they are pushy, they are boring or they are charming and in the end even the most irritating person can surprise you with his/her pleasant side to be discovered.

The film moves in a good tempo. All eighteen actors carry the story and fulfil their parts very naturally. It would be difficult to single one out as they all play their roles excellently and are evenly important. Director Ralf Westhoff was purposely looking for faces not well known in the cinema world but has chosen young actors with a successful theatre career behind them. It is his first full length film for which he also wrote the script. (Birgit Schrumpf)

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