Monday, November 05, 2007

[German Film Festival] Cutting Edge (Die Aufschneider)

We're Crazy

The reason why I chose to watch Cutting Edge during the German Festival was simple, and that's to savour comedy from a different country, and I thought having one in a hospital setting will be perfect for an evening of laughs. Hospitals are always thought as serious places where the sick find some avenue for recovery under expert medical care, but surely it'll run riot when the doctors and nurses are a madcap lot?

But Cutting Edge is not your usual slapstick, physical comedy that provides laugh a minute scenes. In fact, the first minute will have dispelled any notion of the direction the movie will take, and that's the usual "I think I left something inside the patient" joke getting over and done with. It relied much more on wit, chemistry between characters, and had a lot more brewing in the background providing the laughs because of cruel irony. So what we have instead is a slew of comedy of errors, some which hit the mark, while others happen to fall flat because what we expected were delivered to a T.

The story centres on the rivalry between two neighbouring hospitals, the casually run Oakwood, and the state-of-the-art, professional outfit St George. Budget cuts mean that one of the hospitals has got to close down, and it is up to the two hospitals to show their best side to health inspectors who are there to audit their processes. Oakwood's top doctors Steffen Wesemann and Klaus Kunze (Carsten Strauch and Rainer Ewerrien respectively, who co-wrote the story, with the former taking up directorial duties as well) provide much of the comedy here as the lead characters who are tasked to brainstorm for innovative ideas to save their careers, only to discover that they're spending more time instead trying to salvage an accidental side-splitting incident involving a transplanted liver.

Throw in shady undertable deals brewing within St George, and the unethical practice of having an ex-flame Dr Christiane Tietz (Nina Kronjäger) trying to extract sensitive confidential information, you'll know our duo will have their hands full. And in such pairings, you just can't avoid the usual gay jokes abound which played out to the best of laughs amongst the audience, and madcap business process experts with suspect credentials all added to the brew.

Cutting Edge has an air of predictability, and could have gone even crazier with its antics. But alas the comedy ends once the end credits blooper reel finishes, and nothing funny lingers after that when you try hard to reminisce just what make you laugh until tears started to flow. One or two genuinely funny scenes, while the rest are the usual textbook regurgitated comedic scenes.

Hello Nurses!

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