16 November 2006

3rff: Notes From a Festival 4

(Nicole van Kilsdonk, NR, 97 min, Netherlands)

Johan en Evy op de tribune

We finish a survey of the Three Rivers Film Festival with Johan, a cute little romantic comedy from the Netherlands. Michiel Huisman stars at the titular Johan, youngest of the eleven Dros boys. His father has an unhealthy obsession with futbol (hence the eleven boys), which he has successfully passed along to all of his children except Johan, who wishes to be a singer. He meets a girl (Caro Lenssen) and falls in love, only to see her stolen away by his brother Johnny (Johnny de Mol), the most talented of the Dros brothers. He tries to escape his family, but finds it difficult, since all ten of his brothers are professional futbol players and splattered all over the tabloids. Of course, he cannot get over the girl, and hatches a plan to get her back.

The resulting film is a lot of fun. The ceiling for these types of romantic comedies is naturally not all that high, but Johan gets pretty close to that mark. It reminds me a lot of the film Fever Pitch (2005) could have been (and the British version was much closer to), and you could do a hell of a lot worse for a date film or even just an enjoyable way to spend 100 minutes at the end of a rough week. I have a hunch that if Johan can get any sort of an American release, it'll find a great deal of admirers. It's nothing but a pleasant trifle of a film, and sometimes that's a good thing.

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