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by Michael Kreihsl
Man kann nicht alles haben is an entertaining, but often too predictable comedy of errors. Michael Kreihsl, for his part, just as planned in the ORF series, has made the beautiful city of Graz a further protagonist, spectator of many intrigues, but also of tender love stories.
An unexpected wedding
What parents wish for their children does not always come true. That happens. Yet sometimes situations are so paradoxical that they can hardly be accepted. Especially when a child is about to change his or her life forever by making evidently wrong choices. This, then, is the case of Brigitte (played by Aglaia Szyszkowitz), the protagonist of the TV comedy Man kann nicht alles haben, directed by Michael Kreihsl in 2021 and part of the ORF series Stadtkomödie.
Brigitte, then, is the best divorce lawyer in Graz. She has always dreamed that one day her daughter Anna (Marie-Luise Stockinger) could also work in her own firm, returning to live in Graz after a period of study in London. The girl, however, has other plans: she would like to move to England for good, since she has been in a relationship with a man for a few months. The man in question is also from Graz: he is the musician Richie Moosleitner (Fritz Karl), who is much older than Anna and who, when he was young, even had an affair with Brigitte. The woman, desperate, tries everything to end the relationship, even asking Richie’s son (Michael, played by Aaron Friesz) to try to seduce Anna by making her believe that he is the man of her life.
Man kann nicht alles haben, then, is an amusing but often too predictable comedy of errors. Michael Kreihsl, for his part, just as planned in the ORF series, has made the beautiful city of Graz a further protagonist, spectator of many intrigues, but also of tender love stories. Under the Uhrturm, young people meet and together observe the panorama from above. The Uhrturm – whose hands often move at the speed of light – seems to know better than any of them what the right choices to make are. And, in fact, everything seems to develop around it. Including the screenplay, which was written specifically with the intention of paying homage to the capital of Styria through an overall pleasant comedy, but which in some ways is strikingly reminiscent of the now cult film The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967) and which inevitably ends up looking just like the countless similar comedies made every year.
In Man kann nicht alles haben, events often take an unexpected turn. Everything, however, immediately promises a happy ending for each of the protagonists. Confused protagonists, often convinced of what they want from life, but who, first of all, must learn to know themselves. Protagonists masterfully portrayed by an excellent cast, within which – in addition to the excellent Aglaia Szyszkowitz and Fritz Karl – young Marie-Luise Stockinger and Aaron Friesz stand out above all.
This funny little comedy by Michael Kreihsl, basically, does not have many pretensions. Its main goal is simply to entertain the audience, to make them spend a pleasant hour and a half and – why not? – make them dream with a story in which – despite the title – perhaps one can really have it all.
Original title: Man kann nicht alles haben
Directed by: Michael Kreihsl
Country/year: Austria / 2021
Running time: 90’
Genre: comedy, romance
Cast: Aaron Friesz, Marie-Luise Stockinger, Aglaia Szyszkowitz, Fritz Karl, Daniela Golpashin, Sabine Herget, Gerhard Liebmann, Thomas Mraz, Martina Poel, Johannes Silberschneider, Kerim Waller, Martina Zinner
Screenplay: Peter Hengl, Michael Kreihsl, Marc Schlegel
Cinematography: Reinhold Vorschneider
Produced by: ARTE, Epo-Film, ORF