A bachelorette party is derailed – and without a bride-to-be! Three friends force themselves in JGA: JASMINE. GINA. ANNA. to a big party weekend to forget all the frustrations of life. We reveal how strong this is in our review.
OT: JGA: Jasmin. Anna. Gina. (DE 2022)
The long-term singles Jasmin (Luise Heyer), Gina (Taneshia Abt) and Anna (Teres Rizos) are planning a big, wild bachelorette party for their friend Helena (Julia Hartmann). But the “bride to be” gives up very shortly after the party starts. In an unpredictable rush of party mood, selfishness and misdirected anger at all their friends from before who have settled down and become quiet, the three come up with an unusual plan: they go on the bachelorette party trip to Ibiza without further ado. However, what is supposed to be a one-off party turns into a tragicomic result of convulsive repression for the trio: he is to be chased away with alcohol and a deliberately good mood, the anger at seeing himself behind in social comparison with his peers. But who has time for in-depth insights when you run into Tim (Dimitrij Schaad), Django (Arnel Taci), Simon (Trystan Pütter) and Stefan (Axel Stein) – a bachelor party quartet with ties to Jasmin, Gina and Anna …
Before the party is in “JGA: Jasmin. Gina. Anna.” not the dissolved pre-glow. It’s not even the hyped-up collection of dysfunctional partygoers seen in The Hangover. “The Goldfish” maker Alireza Golafshan opens his second feature film with an embarrassed Luise Heyer staring into space (“The boy needs to get some fresh air”) at a bus stop. Pink wig with a huge dot bow in the fake hair. Squeaky purple glitter jacket. Pink tutu. A gigantic blow-up penis next to her. The shame of sitting around alone in full, flashy party gear is written all over her face – and that’s even before a strange guy joins her. As Jasmin, Heyer croaks an unpleasant and insecure question towards the young man, who so far has clearly only been minding his own business instead of commenting on the strange outfit of the person sitting next to him at the stop with looks, let alone words. She doesn’t say it verbally, but Jasmin’s cracked voice gives it away: she feels like she has to justify flaunting a bachelorette party look alone in the hallway. And her sorrowful eyes suggest that Jasmin probably thinks that she has to justify her appearance of being of age and eager to party in her mid-30s, especially to herself.
Gina (Taneshia Abt), Anna (Teresa Rizos) and Jasmin (Louise Heyer) are planning the vacation of a lifetime… or something like that.
But you don’t force such a profound conversation on a stranger on a young evening. Instead, Jasmin breaks the harmless but cutting silence with even more embarrassing small talk. She soon digs herself into a deep pit of awkward conversational conversation by picking up the thread of the conversation she’s laid down every time the other person wants to relax and devote herself to the podcast on her cell phone. And then the half-hearted conversation on both sides turns into a fatally hurtful chain of whispers and interrogations. If only Jasmin had just kept her mouth shut and waited in silence until the late party limousine she ordered arrived – no one would have made a fuss about it. Not even herself, if only she had bitten through the first impulse of shame… The opening of “JGA: Jasmin. Gina. Anna.” may initially give the banal appearance of the calm before the storm. Author and director Alireza Golafshan paves the way for us to be at the forefront of a collision of feel-good comedy, razor-sharp observation of (partial) generational portraits and pointedly told ego drama. What sounds as garish and out of place as a tired, ashamed Luise Heyer in a squeaky outfit alone at a bus stop is instead excellent cinematic pleasure that resonates (in the best sense!) much, much longer than the worst morning hangover could.
“Author and director Alireza Golafshan paves the way for us (…) to be at the forefront of being able to stare at a collision of feel-good comedy, razor-sharp observation of (partial) generational portraits and pointedly told ego drama.”
Even the dialogues seem to have been taken from life – at least when viewed individually. According to the laws of the genre, the number of repartees, bon mots and amusing verbal revelations is self-evident “bigger than life”. But it is the quantity alone that Golafshan cleverly exaggerates. So that doesn’t change the fact that the Chaos Friends and everyone they meet talk in a highly entertaining way the way the people they represent talk in real life. From the clumsy attempt at small talk at the bus stop to congratulations that come too slowly from the lips to the Ralph Lauren polo shirt wearer who constantly has stingy phrases slipping out of his mouth while confronting acquaintances who are completely blank: “That’s funny , because it’s true,” is the dominant motto of “JGA: Jasmin. Gina. Anna.” And because Golafshan and his cast have a palpably deep love for this flawed group of characters, they alternate between cheerful laughter and laughter born of compassion (or sometimes feeling caught out) in pain.
The colorful group of men (Trystan Pütter, Axel Stein, Dimitrij Schaad) is ready for the infamous Kalypso party.
Taneshia Dept (“Nightlife”) Loudmouth, for example, gives Gina a powerful, unfiltered energy – making her a credible spokesperson who supports her friends with great passion or gives them a hand. Even if they don’t want to. Because Gina’s desire for camaraderie is partly fueled by an excessive pride in her self-image as “the one who is there for you”. Contradictions are not welcome. Abt provides this upbeat, gaudy character with rapid-fire wit, an enviable backbone and a basic attitude that is captivating in seven out of ten cases and in the other three cases a life-threatening “I love you, but now be quiet!” The frustration that flashes in Jasmin’s and sometimes Anna’s eyes. Teres Rizos’ (“In the Labyrinth of Silence”) Anna, on the other hand, is the quiet, sweet little mouse of the group: she happily follows Jasmin and Gina everywhere, her charisma alone is able to create harmony… And she has her head completely in the clouds. However, Golafshan’s script and Rizos’ acting skillfully avoid making Anna look like the “stupid one”. Yes, she is slow-witted, maneuvers herself into faux pas while smiling blissfully and often says exactly what she shouldn’t – but there is a hint of it “I didn’t listen for a moment and therefore didn’t notice that we were now speaking in language images” with that makes Anna seem real instead of a fake character.
“’It’s funny because it’s true’ is the dominant motto of ‘JGA: Jasmin. Gina. Anna.’”
That Dimitrij Schaads (“Asphalt gorillas”) The fact that nice, responsibility-avoiding, ducky-friendly Tim constantly forgets her name says just as much about him as it does about Anna, who is actually far too shrill to be a wallflower and still lets her two friends push her to the sidelines. Because then there’s Jasmin, who seems as if this wasn’t Golafshan’s, but Helena Hufnagel’s second feature film… As if this were about Luise Heyer’s “once everything” role, after a few good years in the middle of sorting out her life 30 experienced a catastrophic fall. Always feeling sorry for herself, conflict-averse in an almost aggressive way (so much so that she doesn’t even dare to say no to the worst stripper in Ibiza in front of the most inappropriate erotic dance backdrop), dejected and stubbornly partying. But just humanly functional enough not to be considered a wreck. Jasmin’s acting is too nuanced to pass as a caricature of childless single millennials – she is, on the other hand, her multi-faceted, tired, fed-up “leave me alone” embodiment. Because in addition to the self-blame and the self-centered dissatisfaction, it is written all over Jasmin’s face that the biggest burden for her is what her (sometimes only supposedly) more successful environment, let alone society as such, expects of her.
The three friends imagined everything differently…
Golafshan and Heyer turn this woman in her mid-thirties into a humorous identification figure with profound flaws. To a tragicomic pity bearer. And to a comedy heroine fighting her way out, sweaty, hungover and annoyed. With all these strengths, it’s easy to get over the fact that in “JGA: Jasmin. Gina. Anna.” Ibiza shown in many film sequences looks surprisingly empty during high season. Because the lack of extras, which is certainly due to the pandemic, underlines the emotional world of the protagonist trio: isolated in the hustle and bustle. Ready when no one else is. Arrived when many have already left. This complex of emotions can be devastating and isolating at times. But it can be just as liberating because the title heroines have the space to celebrate themselves as the main characters who they fear are not allowed to be in their everyday lives. It’s a strong achievement, and not just for a party comedy, to stir up such emotional chaos in a highly satisfying way.
“Golafshan and Heyer turn this woman in her mid-thirties into a humorous identification figure with profound flaws.”
Conclusion: A great cast, hilarious characters with depth, and witty dialogues that seem like they were taken from life and have an intoxicating number of hits – “JGA: Jasmin. Gina. Anna.” is the best (anti-)party film of the decade so far.
“JGA: Jasmine. Gina. Anna” can be seen in USA cinemas from March 24, 2022.