Another City of Love
Berlin, I Love You, the latest offering in the City of Love franchise, ends up as a mixed bag. However, because three of the ten stories presented touched me deeply -- and the ending pulled everything together so beautifully, I feel the movie is definitely worth seeing. Also, terrific performances by Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley, Diego Luna, Jenna Dewan, Luke Wilson, Dianna Agron, Rafaelle Cohen and Sibel Kekilli drew me into their stories so completely that I wish each one had been a full movie of their own.
It’s hard to think of Berlin as a City of Love compared to Paris, New York or Rio, the cities chosen for three previous installments. But this movie shows Berlin’s lively art and music scene as well as why people might come to Germany’s once physically-divided city and find love. Different directors and writers came up with each segment, so the tone of the movie goes from one mood to another, which makes it hard to follow. Fortunately, an Israeli singer (Rafaelle Cohen) and a German sometimes dressed like an angel (Robert Stadlober) provide a bit of continuity.
My three favorite segments are “Berlin Dance” starring talented dancer Jenna Dewan, “Lucinda in Berlin” with Dianna Agron and Luke Wilson, and “Under Your Feet” co-starring Helen Mirren and Kiera Knightley.
As the world’s most avid movie musical fan, I was bowled over by Jenna Dewan’s fantasy dance scene. And I felt the same way about the delightful conversation between Agron and Wilson, who play a charming puppeteer and burned-out Hollywood producer, respectively. Also, I empathized with both Mirren and Knightley, who portray a worried mother and a hard-working daughter who brings an Arab refugee child home with her one night.
Diego Luna deserves special recognition for his fascinating turn as a compassionate drag queen -- as does Sibel Kekilli for her engaging portrayal of a taxi driver who wants to be a journalist.
Berlin, a city of rebirth.
This movie showcasing its worth
tries to tell ten different tales.
Hard to succeed without some fails.
I loved the dance scene in the park.
Puppet theater added spark.
Helen Mirren watching a child
deep in my memory is filed.
Those three stories are purest gold.
Some others pale yet seem so bold.
Romance and joy and loss and pain.
New beginnings are there to gain.
(Released by Saban Films and rated “R” for language, some sexual content and brief nudity.)
For more information about Berlin, I Love You, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.