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WIE KOMMEN WIR DA WIEDER RAUS?

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by Eva Spreitzhofer

grade: 5

Following the model of the first chapter, director Eva Spreitzhofer also uses the same basic topic for Wie kommen wir da wieder raus?, i.e. the shocking announcement of a rebellious daughter, which will wreak havoc on the precarious relationships that usually lie behind every family.

An unexpected Christmas

A sequel to the amusing and successful What have we done to deserve this?, Wie kommen wir da wieder raus?, the second chapter about Wanda and Harald’s patchwork family, is a feature film that was perhaps not really needed. A series of banal jokes about political correctness cannot be all that remains of an excellent theatrical idea with a remarkable cast.

The protagonist of Wie kommen wir da wieder raus?, then, is Wanda (played by Caroline Peters), a surgeon, atheist, feminist and, above all, proud of her extended family, as she considers herself open-minded and avant-garde. Part of this patchwork of people and situations are her ex-husband Harald (Simon Schwarz) and their partners, with their children. Once again it is the daughter (of both) Nina (Chantal Zitzenbacher) who wreaks havoc. The protagonist of the first film, with her conversion to Islam, decides this time to have a sex change, because she is tired of feeling trapped in the wrong body. The Christmas dinner will, of course, be the right occasion to announce this to the big family. The evening, as can be easily guessed, is destined to degenerate, given also the combination of alcohol, hidden secrets and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following the pattern of the first chapter, director Eva Spreitzhofer uses practically the same basic plot for Wie kommen wir da wieder raus?, i.e. the rebellious daughter’s shocking announcement, destined to wreak havoc on the precarious relationships that usually lie behind every family and the calm after the storm, when one is able to continue living in a renewed equilibrium that has nevertheless changed the initial rules.

The problem is that this had already happened in the first film. Why reintroduce the same story in a Christmas context? To show how meat, vegan and halal menus can still coexist and be served at Christmas dinner? In practice, it really seems as if Wie kommen wir da wieder raus? was designed as a kind of update of the first film – made five years ago – simply updating the list of the most topical themes, including the pandemic, and thus moving between sometimes funny jokes about gender identity and dialogue full of cringeworthy Englishness.

Premiered on November 28, 2023 at the Gartenbaukino in Vienna, Wie kommen wir da wieder raus? seems to want to focus everything on the well-chosen cast, which, as an almost separate element from the film, has the timing and dynamics of a winning football team. But the sharp social satire that should emerge, as was the case in the first film, seems to be subdued here, almost as if one wanted to create a politically correct version, damaging the still high rhythm – given the amount of people in the flat – and making the whole thing too weak. In essence, it was not, in my opinion, a great idea to attempt to reproduce the humour of What have we done to deserve this?, or at least not with this superficiality.

Original title: Wie kommen wir da wieder raus?
Directed by: Eva Spreitzhofer
Country/year: Austria / 2023
Running time: 90’
Genre: comedy
Cast: Caroline Peters, Simon Schwarz, Chantal Zitzenbacher, Hilde Dalik, Pia Hierzegger, Angelo Konzett, Anna Laimanee, Marcel Mohab, Michael Ostrowski, Felix Rank, Marina Lackovic, Mehmet Ali Salman, Walter Sittler
Screenplay: Eva Spreitzhofer
Cinematography: Eva Testor
Produced by: Mona Film

Info: the page of Wie kommen wir da wieder raus? on iMDb; the page of Wie kommen wir da wieder raus? on the website of the Austrian Film Commission; the page of Wie kommen wir da wieder raus? on the website of the Mona Film