After “Klassentreffen 1.0” would actually come “Klassentreffen 2.0”. But that has now become DIE HOCHZEIT. That doesn’t change the fact that writer and director Til Schweiger remains true to his line. The result remains caustic and eternally dated. Find out more in our review.
The plot summary
The wedding bells are finally about to ring for star DJ Thomas (Til Schweiger) and Linda (Stefanie Stappenbeck)! And although the flop of his new album is really hard on him, Thomas and his Linda are determined to stick to their wedding plans! At the same time, her best friend Nils’ (Samuel Finzi) marriage begins to falter when he finds out that his wife Jette (Katharina Schüttler) had a one-night stand after 25 years of marriage. Meanwhile, after finally separating from his Tanja (Jeanette Hain), Andreas (Milan Peschel) throws himself into single life and tries his luck at dating games until he suddenly makes an unexpected acquaintance… Then he meets an old friend at Thomas’s bachelor party -who was also Jette’s affair- dies unexpectedly, the three friends have to go to a funeral together with Linda’s daughter Lili (Lilli Schweiger), which turns everything upside down! The wedding is getting closer and closer and Thomas would actually have his hands full with the preparations if a mishap didn’t cause the funeral to be seriously delayed! Now they all find themselves in a turbulent race against time to make it to the wedding on time. Because in the end it is clear to everyone: what really counts in life is love!
The Wedding Movie Meaning & ending
You shouldn’t constantly draw conclusions from a character about the actor. But when Thomas, played by Til Schweiger, in a film written and directed by Til Schweiger, is a formerly extremely successful DJ, but who can no longer match previous audience successes with his latest album and, on top of that, has to endure harsh criticism from critics, then you can definitely pay attention. And since Thomas also calls critics hunchbacked idiots and wonders how they have the right to decide what’s good and what’s not… Yes, there certainly seem to be parallels between the character and the actor. In addition, Thomas thinks that he has developed as an artist and that the critics finally have to accept that. And at the latest when Thomas angrily emphasizes several times that he doesn’t care at all about reviews and doesn’t even pay attention to them (without noticing that he’s proving through this constant swearing that they obviously do affect him after all), the boundaries between film content and film content become blurred Production history completely. If you want to be mean, you would have to take a scene from Til Schweiger’s latest film “The Wedding” out of context, in which Til Schweiger as Thomas stands at night in front of the bedroom of a young critic who opens the door for him in a provocative nightgown and invites him in and leans back sensually in her room before telling Thomas what a good artist he is. Whereupon Thomas is really happy about the flattery and rejects the unspoken invitation for a little adult cuddling. Because taken completely out of context, this scene is a little… well,… icky . Let’s treat ourselves to Anglicism.
Thomas (Til Schweiger) and Linda (Stefanie Stappenbeck) are about to get married…
In context, however, the scene is a good hook to show the highs and lows of “The Wedding”. It is the sequel to the critically panned comedy “Class Reunion 1.0 – The Incredible Journey of the Silverbacks” . In one of his many “What do critics know?” statements , Til Schweiger dismissed the critical response by saying that he had experienced full cinemas that couldn’t contain themselves laughing the entire time. It may be that Til Schweiger experienced it that way, but “Class Reunion 1.0” with its 1.1 million ticket sales was only a pale shadow of his previous directing successes – which means that the film is also a step backwards in the standards by which Schweiger apparently measures quality represents. We don’t even want to start with the total commercial failure of “Head Full of Honey”, which was completely disregarded by the press. With “The Wedding” Schweiger now seems to be processing things. Both in story and dialogue form as well as behind the scenes. In past films, Schweiger has already taken swipes at the press in general and the journalistic form of film criticism in particular. But the fact that reviews are given a detailed subplot and Schweiger’s character is extensively ripped off several times is new. And why not? Film history is full of successful, subtle digs at critics – from the music critic Georg in “Wilde Maus” to the skinny, pale restaurant critic Anton Ego in “Ratatouille” to the spiteful theater critic in “Birdman” . If Schweiger has to work on something, he should be happy to do it – better than carrying this grudge with him forever. So much for the principle.
Now to the implementation: This subplot in “The Wedding” does not come close to the sophistication of the examples of “films that criticize” that I just mentioned. Because Thomas’ critic problem is quite erratic: the numerous tirades about film criticism, er, pardon me, music criticism, which has no idea anyway and is unimportant, is juxtaposed with the fact that Thomas’ panned album is also a flop with audiences and even his tour is like that sold badly that it has to be canceled. The fact that there is a potential connection (that criticism is simply a reflection of opinion and that paying and professional audiences can sometimes agree) is never really linked in “The Wedding”, and it is primarily characters other than Thomas who point this out indicate poor sales figures. The only critics are the explicit image of the enemy and Thomas’ duplicity in repeatedly complaining about how unimportant criticism is to him is never demonstrated to him. But if you can put two and two together, you can implicitly get more out of the film. And the figure of the young, attractive critic who non-verbally seduces Thomas, but who is also far-sighted and, due to her expertise, discovers qualities earlier than the general public, is a wild mishmash of negative caricature and possible night fantasy, but it is also a pointedly portrayed admission that that some people obviously know what they are doing. And no matter what mess this all may be, Thomas (somehow) learns his lesson (a little bit). And what should please the paying audience above all: “The Wedding” dwells on this subplot a little too long, repeats itself a bit and occasionally exaggerates (like this review, as it may adapt to the film), but the comedy actually forms some fun dialogue exchanges out of the material.
… but the road to this happy ending is rocky.
This is fascinating because “The Wedding” generally seems as if Schweiger had decided to correct course after “Class Reunion 1.0”. It’s not just that the marketing pushes the fact that “The Wedding” is a sequel to the “Three old hands get it on a road trip” comedy to the sidelines and the title no longer reveals any connection. There is a remarkable creative distance between the two films, especially: The widely criticized, homophobic tendency of “Class Reunion 1.0”? Disappeared (yes, anyone who wants to accuse Til Schweiger of evil with all their might will read “friends don’t want to be accidentally touched by a friend’s boner” as homophobia, but you can also exaggerate it). While the female characters in “Class Reunion 1.0” (apart from Lili, played by Lilli Schweiger) were all shrill terrors, this only applies to all the women in the immediate orbit of Milan Peschel’s role Andreas. Stefanie Stappenbeck (“A Strong Team”), on the other hand, can navigate all the madness she encounters with dry humor and a sympathetic, annoyed look. Katharina Schüttler (“The Dragonfly”) at least gives a lively caricature of a frustrated wife and is given the opportunity to present her role’s perspective in a comprehensible way. And Lilli Schweiger, who was already better off than the rest of the cast in “Class Reunion 1.0”, is allowed to express her annoyance even more pointedly this time as the sensible but also easily frustrated Lili.
Probably the most important difference between “The Wedding” and its predecessor, however, is the editing: Edited by Christoph Strothjohann, “The Wedding” leaves the high-frequency chaos editing of its predecessor behind and no longer hits the audience with dozens of camera shots every split second, while two Figures just breathe in peace. And it is precisely because “The Wedding” is not a cutting storm that chops up all the punch lines and stifles any honest feeling, like “Class Reunion 1.0,” that this sequel can grow beyond its predecessor. The plot thread surrounding Samuel Finzi’s Nils in particular benefits from this: at the beginning of the film he learns that his wife of many years has cheated on him and has to deal with this fact during the trip to a funeral. The script does work against Finzi in some scenes (his character is the most sensible of the trio of protagonists and yet sometimes behaves in an implausibly petulant or careless manner, even at the level of comedy logic). But Finzi gives the quiet, thoughtful moments surrounding his role a believable remorse, just as he hits the punch line several times in the crazy scenes, which the hectic editing made almost impossible for him in the previous film. Finzi thus becomes the backbone of this film – and his scenes are shallow, beautiful RomCom entertainment.
Linda with her friends Jette (Katharina Schüttler) and Tanja (Jeanette Hain).
But it’s not just Finzi who cuts a better figure than in his predecessor: Schweiger’s monologue about the value of friendship, even if it doesn’t glow with originality, is nicely formulated and delivered with feeling, and the actor/director/producer/author also plays with solid Timing gives his cast the proverbial balls, which makes Thomas look much more likeable than in his caustic predecessor. Only Peschel gets the short end of the stick: Actually a very capable mime, Schweiger once again uses him as a nagging little boy without any restraint, who even when doing loud, shrill gags, acts many times louder and shriller than is good for him. Peschel’s skills still shine through in one sequence, namely in a Schweiger-typical sex slapstick set piece, which is fortunately implemented with the frivolous, silly lightness of the “old” Schweiger (“Keinohrhasen”, “Zweiohrchicken”) rather than with the biliousness from “Class Reunion 1.0”.
Overall, “The Wedding” still falls short of Schweiger’s early years as a director. As in all of his adult films from “Kokowääh” onwards, some of the gags here start out old-fashioned, then are given a relatively fresh twist and then rammed into the ground until the potential humorous factor has long since been given up. And there is simply a lack of the mixture of fresh energy and equality with Schweiger’s roles, which the “opponents” of the Schweiger protagonist initially had in the Freiburg-born artist’s work. Nevertheless, “The Wedding” leaves Schweiger’s adult work of recent years behind. Unlike the “Kokowääh” films, “Honey in the Head” and its remake as well as “Class Reunion 1.0”, “The Wedding”, for example, gets to the point narratively before the plot is completely messed up. And the sentimentally intended scenes never degenerate into cramped kitsch, even though the background music is sometimes very thick.
Jette has made a big mistake in 25 years of marriage, which is now coming to light.
And then … Yes, then there’s the matter of product placement, which has become completely obtrusive in late Schweiger directorial works and star vehicles. In “The Wedding”, product placement mutates into a whole new beast: In the world of “Die Hochzeit”, people drink the Til Schweiger water Barewater, go to the Til Schweiger pizzeria Henry Likes Pizza (“Best pizza in town!”, says one of the characters), chug Til Schweiger beer (“Boah, it’s delicious! “, Milan Peschel exclaims, refreshed, after taking a big gulp and holding the label clearly legible towards the camera), enjoy several Til Schweiger wines, are furnished in the style of Til Schweiger’s living idea brand Barefoot Living and, when their car breaks down, consider using the app of an insurance company decorated with Til Schweiger’s likeness, which is currently advertising with Til Schweiger. It’s obtrusive and it’s incredibly cheeky – but it’s so cheeky and obtrusive that it leaves behind the annoyingly embarrassing advertising factor of films like the “McDonald’s now serves hot dogs!” actioner “Hot Dog” and crosses over into Michael-Bay-sees-product-placements-as-art-form territory, as seen in “6 Underground” or “Transformers: Age of Doom”. Somehow it’s just funny how outrageously the whole Til Schweiger product world is presented, and it’s at least aesthetically consistent and therefore easier for the uninformed eye to overlook than the fictional alternative, in which Peschel ext a Bitburger, Finzi uses an Allianz app and Jeanette Hain eats at Domino’s.
Conclusion: There you go: after years of missteps, “The Wedding” shows that somewhere in the modern Til Schweiger there is still the Til Schweiger who has made a name for himself as a pleasing mainstream director. With a jumble of old skills and current quirks, “The Wedding” will still have to put up with a lot of criticism, but anyone who found Schweiger’s early work entertaining but was annoyed by it recently will be able to smile again here and even laugh from time to time. And who knows where the third part, due this year, will end up on this learning curve …? Perhaps we’ll talk about the fantasy with the provocative critic another time …
“The Wedding” can be seen in cinemas from January 23.