Director Ralf Westhoff directs in the footsteps of Woody Allen HOW GOOD IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP? (de. Wie gut ist deine Beziehung?) a film about a problem couple that isn’t really a problem couple. It’s definitely entertaining. We reveal more about this in our review.
The Plot Summary
Steve (Friedrich Mücke) has been with Carola (Julia Koschitz) for five years, the two are loving and familiar with each other, a well-coordinated team. But then Steve has to watch as his friend Bob is suddenly dumped by his girlfriend, who turns to the well-preserved but much older Tantra teacher Harald. Small, nasty doubts begin to bother Steve: Is Carola really happy with him? Are you paying enough attention to yourself and your relationship? Steve, already under attack from a professional situation, has to act. The new motto is self-optimization, physically, mentally and sexually – and Harald, of all people, is here to help. Carola doesn’t recognize her lover. Advised by her best friend Anette (Maja Beckmann), who advocates distrust, she decides to make changes. The turbulence begins…
Movie explanation of the ending
Director and screenwriter Ralf Westhoff knows how to stage stories that avoid clichés. To do this, he plays with them. And that is only possible if you know the unspoken laws of individual genres very well. “How good is your relationship?” fits this perfectly. At first glance, the star-studded RomCom works according to common schemes; At least it’s clear from the start that the protagonist couple will probably hug each other happily again at the end of the day. But Westhoff varies the way there, as he did with the plots of his (tragi) comedies “Shopping”, “The Last Beautiful Autumn Day” and “We are the New”, so that you know the destination, but at no point can you guess what it is about He will probably get to that same branch. Not only does the couple in the spotlight not correspond to the usual film romance ideal, but the problem dealt with here, which isn’t a problem at all, evades being simply the big obstacle just before the happy ending is within reach. “How good is your relationship?” asks the fundamental question of happiness in love and ironically does this based on a couple in which it is actually not even up for debate that the two love each other.
Steve (Friedrich Mücke) seeks advice from his friend Bob (Bastian Reiber).
Man and woman get to know each other, find each other well, fall in love, are confronted with a problem and after they have sorted it out, the way is clear for a happy ending called “eternal love”. This is how 99 percent of all romantic comedies work – and not just the USA productions. In the case of “How good is your relationship?”, the individual stages of the action look like this: The man and woman have been together for five years, love each other, he picks a problem out of thin air and because there isn’t actually one, he knows Nobody really knows how to get rid of this non-problem. Nevertheless, one is only too happy to watch the two main actors as they now have to come to terms with the new situation in which the actions of the other person are always put on the spot and even small gestures such as a visit to the hairdresser or a thoughtless word in the wrong place be overinterpreted until both have become infected with the obsession that everything in the relationship is no longer rosy. And then the two of them are repeatedly encouraged in their obscure theory by their know-it-all best friends Bob (Bastian Reiber) and Anette (Maja Beckmann)…
As is the case in real life, if at some point when fighting a (non-)problem everyone involved and their arguments go around in circles, the constant arguments between Steve and Carola per se would have great potential for nerves. But it is thanks to auteur filmmaker Ralf Westhoff that at some point one develops such thieving joy in the couple’s decidedly awkward arguments that the actual question of whether everything will be right again between the two of them moves more and more into the background. Instead, Westhoff serves us one bizarre situation after another, from which the dry humor can develop freely. If Steve comes up with a decidedly romantic date for his girlfriend just because he thinks he needs to rekindle the romance from the early years of the relationship (which all together ends up going badly wrong), then such a scene is enough on its own standing to just be damn funny. The same goes for Carola’s half-hearted attempts to optimize herself; whether it’s a new pair of shoes (which she feels totally uncomfortable in) or a new hairstyle (which makes her look anything but good).
Carola (Julia Koschitz) doesn’t even know that there is a problem in her relationship…
Of course, the emotional reunion of the protagonist couple is the cherry on the cake; The fact that the two are simply granted their happy ending, even though it is only partially necessary for the comedy elements to work, is down to Friedrich Mücke (“Balloon”) and Julia Koschitz (“Out and Away”), which work extremely well as an experienced long-term couple. They allow the deep connection between their characters to shine through at all times, but with their outstanding sense of comedic timing they also ensure that you can laugh with them at all times at the absurdity of the premise. Especially in combination with the perfectly cast supporting actors, in which the makers allow themselves a few detours into caricature to create a counterbalance to the otherwise very down-to-earth main plot, they always rely on small-scale humor; There are no excessive slapstick interludes or the like in “How good is your relationship?” Instead, Ralf Westhoff directs a film of elegant restraint, as if he wanted to enable his audience to play mice with a completely normal couple. And the term “completely normal” couldn’t be meant more positively here.
Conclusion: “How good is your relationship?” is a cautiously told, but all the more comical, inventory of a long-term couple, whose non-existent problems Ralf Westmann carefully highlights.
“How good is your relationship?” can be seen in selected USA cinemas from February 28th.