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Worth A Look: 24.14%
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Total Crap: 3.45%

2 reviews, 17 user ratings

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In July
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by Scott Weinberg

"A German rom-com? And it's damn good? I know; it was a shock to me too!"
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2003 PHILADELPHIA FILM FESTIVAL: Were 'Im Juli.' (a.k.a. 'In July.') an American film it would inevitably come pre-packaged with a Ben Affleck-type and a Sandra Bullock-type, 10 or 12 soundtrack-worthy and annoying pop tunes, and a plastic/generic veneer that screams 'product' instead of 'movie'. Fortunately, In July. is not an American film. It comes from a country not exactly well-known for its light rom-com: Germany! Whoda thunk it?

Best described as an old-fashioned modernization/pastiche of screwball comedy, road trip and romance, In July. is not noteworthy for its startling originality - but for somehow breathing new life into such a potentially stale old vehicle. The plot synopsis for this flick won't do it justice but here goes anyway.

Daniel is a good-natured student teacher, a likeable young guy who clearly lacks a certain slickness with the ladies. During one fateful trip to a local bazaar Daniel buys a ring from lovely brunette July. (Yes, like the month - but the Germans still pronounce it 'Julie'.) July explains that the ring (emblazoned with the sun) will lead Daniel to his one true love - a woman who will also be sporting a similar solar symbol. She then invites the stammering bachelor to attend a party later that night.

Actively on the lookout for some romance, Daniel stops by the party and promptly falls for a lovely Turkish gal named Melek. The pair share an evening together (though they don't SPEND the evening together nudge nudge) and July is crestfallen when she sees the pair leaving the party together. (It's at this point no secret that July has the hots for Daniel; her dress sports a massive sun print on it, poor cutie.) Turns out that Melek must return to Istanbul, so the desperately smitten Daniel opts to meet drive through 7 countries to meet up with her again.

Meanwhile not very far away, July is hugging her best friend goodbye and plans to hitchhike herself into a 'mystery vacation'.

Guess who's driving the first car that stops to pick July up? Daniel's on his way to Istanbul but July climbs aboard anyway and thus begins a series of charmingly sweet adventures.

As a matter of fact, 'charming' and 'sweet' are two adjectives that fit this film quite succinctly. As played by the criminally adorable Christiane Paul, July is independent, intelligent and all-around cool. (I'd share a car with her to IRAQ if I had to!) Moritz Bleibtreu (best known from Run Lola Run) is pitch-perfect as the horribly smitten Daniel and it's a testament to the actor's performance that we actually BUY it when he initially rebuffs July's subtle advances. This guy wants the Turkish girl!

As in any worthwhile road movie, we're offered handfuls of colorful characters every few miles. As the pair journey across Germany, Bulgaria, Romania (and a few others) they must contend with a deviously well-intentioned trucker, border patrols as unyielding as they are stingy, deceptively sexy con artists, and (in the film's surprisingly effective wrap-around story) a guy with a corpse in his trunk.

Ignore that 'foreign film stigma' most people won't admit they have. Forget that you'll be forced to "read along" with the onscreen action. In July. is a very funny and very sweet little confection from a film industry generally not known for its soft touch. I don't care what country a movie comes from: something this colorful and disarming simply deserves to be seen.

And did I mention how cute the leading lady is?

Gotta love the film festivals. Were it not for this sort of venue, I doubt I'd have ever seen this movie. If you're the sort who used to enjoy romantic comedies before they became doddering and formulaic chick flicks, take some steps and search this one out.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 04/05/03 17:47:02
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Philadelphia Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

1/05/15 thomas are you kidding me? 1 stars
11/22/06 ari great indeed. sountrack - Brooklyn Funk Essential most of it. as i know is a turkish band. 5 stars
10/07/06 lena have dvd, wish could buy a soundtrack cause misic is increadible, but can't find any info 5 stars
4/05/06 Annie G Like most "Road trip" movies, this one is a true hit. Don't miss it! 5 stars
11/15/05 richard best german film ever 5 stars
11/01/05 snuda awesome 5 stars
4/27/04 Anna It was SO funky cute 5 stars
2/20/04 Felix Faucher Incredible Cinematographic moments, references to Back to the Future and Forrest Gump 5 stars
1/06/04 Ian Loved it "Great Adventure" 5 stars
1/06/04 Law Roche "Old" Europe? "New" Europe? Who cares, the people and places are fascinating! What a trip! 5 stars
11/01/03 Aadie Fun, totally charming movie 5 stars
10/21/03 Nico Absolutely fabulous! I must have the soundtrack 5 stars
6/23/03 Michael Cruz Wish they would release it on DVD in the States. 5 stars
6/09/03 Peter Loved it. Delightful film. 5 stars
6/07/03 suzanne good fun....go see it. 5 stars
4/25/03 mr. Pink A fun movie with a bit of romance. Won't change the world, but it's quite good. 4 stars
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  DVD: 08-Jun-2004



Directed by
  Fatih Akin

Written by
  Fatih Akin

  Moritz Bleibtreu
  Christiane Paul
  Mehmet Kurtulus
  Idil Uner
  Jochen Nickel
  Branka Katic

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