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  • David Zak

RUMSPRINGA is a sweet delight

If you are worried that all the films of our day are as gloomy as our news, take a trip with RUMSPIRNGA, an unexpected charmer about an Amish young man coming to Berlin for the traditional rite of passage before settling down into married life.

We spend only a few moments with Jacob in his traditional community in Pennsylvania before he and his sack board a bus to a new life.

The sight gags are plentiful and well-earned as Jacob experiences contemporary culture for the first time. How he loses his luggage and eventually his heart is a voluptuous journey that I suspect you will enjoy. It easily leaped to the top of my favorite comedy films of 2022.

When Jacob (Jonas Holdenrieder) sees another bearded man Alf (Timur Bartels), he thinks he has found a connection to his past. The relationship between two straight men is beautifully played. Holdenrieder is all Carol Channing-sized eyes as he meets the world of flush toilets, roller skates, beer, dancing, and very relaxed sexuality.

On the other hand, Alf is jaded, oversexed, and often shirtless. But as he awakens to find that he has made his first real friend, the film finds its very enjoyable sweet spot. The men are excellent in their scenes together, and the introduction of Gizem Emre as Ina, whose accidental meeting in the airport sets the comedy into action, adds a unique yet sexy innocence.

Some wacky plot twists toward the end, including a white horse, are none too subtle. But the intention of the director Mira Thiel and writers Nika Heinrich and Oskar Minkler seems pure.

As you see the world through Jacobs's eyes, you too might become a bit more hopeful.

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