Monday, 11 August 2014

Eyafjallajökull

Eyafjallajökulls marketing for some reason concentrated on the fact that Eyafjallajökull is a hard word to pronounce, which is why before watching this movie, I had no idea that it would be a road-movie taking place between Munich and Crete.

Now road-movies are not among my favorite films for a few reasons. The characters apparently always need to be polar opposites, which results in one main character and the weird one who gets all the jokes (Zach Galifianakis, I'm looking at you). Then a reason has to be fabricated for the two characters to be stuck in a car together for the journey. That happens within the first five minutes of the movie, usually about the time that the screenwriter leans over to the audience and whispers: "Yeah, just so you know, we're not doing logic in this one, so just go ahead and start suspending disbelief right now." Now I can do that, get behind the fact that our two main characters are now on the no-fly-list, because of reasons, trains are not an option and rental car companies have exactly one car. I just don't want to. Ideally, I want to see a little more effort than that.

That's where Eyjafjallajökull comes in... the volcano that is. Suddenly we have a real reason why flying is not an option and grounded flights really did put enourmous strain on other means of transportation. So now our two main characters Valérie and Alain have a real reason to go on a road trip. They already have a history together, so it makes sense that they would share a car, although maybe not the way you think.

I think the reason why I liked Eyjafjallajökull as much as I did is because it is so well grounded in reality. That makes it even funnier when it goes completely bonkers over the course of the movie. Valérie and Alain are absolutely toxic for each other, but the movie spends a lot of effort to show us believably that there was something there once. But for now, they bicker, they fight and they don't pull any punches.

I only really have one objection. Over the course of this movie it becomes clear that nothing you learn about the characters is simply there as a means to deepen the character. So for example when you learn that someone is a veterinarian, you bet that there's going to be a sick animal somewhere down the road. That takes some of the unpredictability out of it, but not too much. Especially the ending is not quite what I imagined.

So while it may not be the second "Intouchables" that the studio might have been hoping for, this is an extremely funny movie. Definitely watch it if you're looking for a good comedy.

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