toni-erdmann

The German comedy Toni Erdmann focuses on the relationship between Ines Conradi (Sandra Hüller), an ambitious, high-strung business consultant and her dad Winifried (Peter Simonischek), a music teacher who can apparently take off as much time off as he pleases. Winifried is worried that Ines has lost all the joy in her life, so he deploys his persona disguise known as “Toni Erdmann” (complete with fake teeth and Tommy Wiseau-style wig and sunglasses) to subtly invade her professional life. She is at first unsurprisingly horrified (though she does passively-aggressively play along a little bit), but eventually he wins her over and she hugs him with all her love and gratitude.

I know what you’re thinking: “Another Manic Pixie Dream Dad movie?!” Here it is important to note a crucial difference between MPDD and the OG MPD Girl: the calculus is very different when the relationship is not romantic. Winifried’s entire purpose in the film can be making Ines discover how to enjoy life because fulfilling that role is part of the parental instinct. He has known her whole life, so he should have some idea what can lift her spirits. In conclusion, Toni Erdmann is kind of like if in the future Louise from Bob’s Burgers happens to forget her sense of humor and good old dad Bob Belcher has to intervene and remind her of what makes her happy.

I give Toni Erdmann 9 Tommy Wiseau’s out of 10 Europeans.

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