In Rudi Gaul’s episodic comedy SAFARI – MATCH ME IF YOU CAN The focus is on city dwellers flirting via an app. And unfortunately they are all pretty obnoxious. We reveal more about this in our review of the film.
The Plot Summary
One click on Safari and the fulfillment of your dreams is within reach… The adored pilot Harry (Justus von Dohnányi) has sex with the social media star Lara (Elisa Schlott), his wife Aurelie (Sunnyi Melles), who has nothing about the double life Her husband suspects, treats David (Max Mauff) and gives him advice on how to lose his virginity. 48-year-old Mona (Juliane Köhler), permanently single, is finally longing for a partner. First she helps David have his first time, then she meets the single parent Life (Sebastian Bezzel), but he is overwhelmed by having sex together in the Volvo. Fanny (Friederike Kempter), a strict vegetarian with a desire for a family, meets the handsome Arif (Patrick Abozen), a self-proclaimed seducer… Soon everyone is only thinking about one thing – escape or love?
Movie explanation of the ending
The dating app Tinder has made modern love life much easier. If you’re just looking for quick sex, you’ll find what you’re looking for there anyway. And with a little luck and skill, you might even meet true love. Of course, the smartphone program cannot keep up with the appeal of a harmless flirt. And so it’s actually only logical that a romantic comedy from 2018 is hardly really romantic anymore. However, that is not the biggest problem with Rudi Gaul’s directing work (“The Hotel Room”). His episodic film “Safari – Match Me If You Can” is sick at every turn. From the half-baked tonality to the sometimes unbearably artificial dialogues to outrageous script decisions, the undoubtedly well-known cast maneuvers its way through one or several love stories, all of which are apparently intended to represent a true-to-life depiction of love affairs in 2018. But despite its overarching theme of a dating app, Gaul’s film seems strangely outdated, the humor is old-fashioned and the use of social media seems foreign to those responsible. who have apparently never used any of them themselves. All of these questionable ingredients make “Safari” a real test of nerves.
Fanny (Friederike Kempter) is not very enthusiastic about her first encounter with her date Arif (Patrick Abozen).
It makes sense that the makers would focus on a fictional app for their episodic comedy so as not to turn it into a real “Tinder movie”. The concept of the application of the same name is the most exciting thing about “Safari”. In order to use the program, you first have to choose an animal that best reflects your needs. Are you a loyal penguin or more of a rambling bunny? Then we go on a hunt, or rather through the urban jungle, which pleasantly isn’t that of Berlin, but that of Munich, which at least reveals some nice, fresh city panoramas. Meanwhile, the narrative focus of “Safari” is on various users: for example, a constantly horny con artist, a tormented hipster USA-speaking fitness freak, a single father and an Instagram starlet who plays tricks on her followers. This constellation of characters certainly gives a broad insight into the types of people who use the Safari app. But as is usually the case with episodic comedies, the individual narrative strands are of completely different quality. And by that we mean in this case that the better subplots are just okay (which usually has to do with the actors), while the bad ones are completely unsuccessful.
Since we don’t want to play moralizers, we won’t go into detail at this point about one or two questionable messages in “Safari”, for example on the subject of infidelity. Especially since it can be seen that society is becoming increasingly more open-minded when it comes to open relationships, polyamory and moving away from classic relationship patterns. This also fits with the impression already described at the beginning that “Safari” is not at all romantic. That wouldn’t be a bad thing at first, but unfortunately those responsible seem to enjoy their progressive narrator role so much that they miss out on gaining any sympathetic facet from their characters. It’s as if the lack of understanding for love and romance also leads to a loss of humanity – and that’s a very conservative way of thinking. If a spark of feeling does emerge in between, it usually has nothing to do with the characters themselves, but rather is associated with a serious blow of fate, for example. Sebastian Bezzel’s (“Sauerkraut coma”) The embodied life only has a tragic side because his daughter’s mother once separated from him. Apart from that, all characters in “Safari” can be limited to their function as app users. This is inevitably pretty superficial.
The eagle, aka pilot Harry (Justus von Dohnányi), knows what appeals to women.
Screenwriter Friederike Klingholz underlines this impression by attributing some sort of supposedly amusing whimsy to all of the characters, but not only does it grossly exaggerate, but it is also shockingly inconsistent. Friederike Kempter’s character sometimes has a noticeable accent and sometimes none, with Patrick Abozen’s character you never know whether his terribly fake youth slang is intended to satirize the language of digital natives or is meant seriously. And at the latest when real social media such as Instagram are included in the action, the follower and click numbers shown here stand in the greatest possible contrast to how such house numbers would work in real life. And while we’re on the subject of the story about the Instagram celebrity: This is even simply broken off in between and not picked up at all again as it progresses. All of this would probably only be half as tragic if “Safari – Match Me If You Can” were at least entertaining. But the punch lines aimed at by Friederike Klingholz almost all fizzle out into nothing and Rudi Gaul visibly lacks the ability to compensate for the humor that falls by the wayside with the help of directorial finesse. It’s only on the audiovisual level that he succeeds in integrating the Safari app into real life. If Safari really existed, it would probably have exactly the influence on the lives of its users as shown here. But ultimately it’s not really that interesting if the users are all such caustic people.
Conclusion: “Safari – Match Me If You Can” claims to offer an insight into modern love affairs, but if you take a closer look, the implementation and story are no longer up to date at all, despite the app superstructure. Not to mention that the film simply isn’t funny and the characters are almost entirely obnoxious.
“Safari – Match Me If You Can” can be seen in USA cinemas from August 30th.