Elizabeth Reaser, Patrick Heusinger, Alan Cumming, John Heard
Minister: You’re dancing together. You’re living together. God only knows what else! What else!??
Lars: I sleep in the barn.
Minister: You’re German. This is…it’s a bad influence. You’re German. It’s a disruption to my community. You’re German…you…make coffee that is TOO BLACK!
A German girl, Ilge (Reaser), travels to America, in 1920, to marry a farmer named Lars (Heusinger). Upon arriving, she has a hard time being accepted by the locals while trying to sort out the legal issues standing in the way of her marriage to Lars.
This is a slightly confusing, entirely typical story about prejudice in 1920s rural America. There’s not a surprising turn in the movie. There are some nice moments, both romantic and amusing, but you could probably guess exactly where the story will go without even seeing the movie.
I say it’s confusing for a couple reasons. The main one being that Lars seems to be German himself, but is accepted just fine by the community of farmers surrounding him. So why is Ilge met with such disdain and mistrust? I can understand the whispers about them cohabitating while still unmarried, but the initial dislike for Ilge seems unfounded.
Secondly, the movie begins in present day, just after Ilge’s death. We then flash back to the 1970s, and from there we flash back to 1920. I just thought some of the ages didn’t work out too well. It’s a minor complaint, but I guess the 30 year old Reaser could have been playing a much younger character. Even if she was only 20, she would have been well over 100 when she finally passed away. And some of the other characters don’t seem to look the right age in the 70s when we see them.
As I said, though, that’s a minor problem. It’s really just the basic predictability of the movie that made it a chore to watch. It looked nice, and Reaser is quite good, but it just felt like a big so what…
Edit: Since posting this, I’ve done a little reading of other reviews and know now that Lars is a Norwegian farmer. He can speak German, but he’s not German, thus he is more accepted than Ilge. Doesn’t make me like the movie any more though.
Probably don’t want to have a new wife shipped over from the country that the country you live in was recently at war with.
10 – 2.3 for being such a typical, predictable story – 2.1 for the characters being mostly dull = 5.6