Men To Kiss is a bit of an odd movie. It’s entertaining even while a lot of it is complete nonsense, and it’s fun even when it’s difficult not to feel the wrong thing is happening.
Ernst (Frank Christian Marx) and Tobi (Udo Lutz) are a couple who may be ready to take the next step in their relationship. However Ernst is starting to feel out of place, as he doesn’t know many people in Berlin, so his only friends are Tobi’s. He’s therefore pleased to see his old mate Uta (Alexandra Starnitzky), even if she is rather pretentious, biting and rude to those she sees as being beneath her – which is pretty much everybody.
She soon reveals a far more disturbing streak when she threatens Tobi with a nutcracker and tells him he has a week to end his relationship with Ernst. Tobi isn’t sure what to do, and soon things begin to spiral out of control as he attempts to get Uta out of the way and save his relationship. However, after a bizarre plan to get her out of the way with guacamole and then hiring an assassin, Tobi may have just made it more likely his and Ernst’s relationship will end.
Men To Kiss is a romantic comedy that’s a fun farce almost in spite of itself. It isn’t afraid of a bit of camp and seems to believe there is no extreme that’s too far to go to. Quite often this means it makes little sense. For example, why on earth is Ernst friends with Uta? His protestations to Tobi that he isn’t giving her a chance would be more believable is she hid her true nature from him, but when she’s being insanely rude or smashing a waitress’ head into the wall, you have to wonder why on earth Ernst would want anything to do with her, or be surprised when he’s told she may be against his relationship with Tobi.
Likewise, you have to think there would be better ways to deal with things than to plot the death of Uta, but Men To Kiss doesn’t have time for that! It believes that no plot development could possibly go too far and that there’s no need to present us with a logical journey to get to those extremes, or indeed to have characters that even begin to make sense.
All that should have made the film ridiculous nonsense that’s too stupid to handle, but somehow it pulls through. It manages to be fun even if it is utterly preposterous. It certainly helps that nobody takes it too seriously, and that even when something happens that’s unbelievably daft, those moments manage to be quite fun (indeed, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was slightly inspired by Monty Python style extremity). You just need to suspend your disbelief a lot further than normal.
I did have a problem with the ending though, as it pivots around one of the boyfriends having to apologise to the other. However I couldn’t help but feel the film got it completely the wrong way around. Considering what had happened, it really should have been other person apologising – after all, no matter what’s been going on, if your boyfriend hatches a plan that involves knocking you unconscious and trying to commit murder, that’s not something you should have to overlook and then have to apologise to him for your comparatively minor mistakes. At the very least there should have been some mutual apologising. However I have a feeling that in real life both partners would have ended up deciding they were better off far away from the other (particularly as one of them would probably be in prison). That’s not what happens in rom-com land though, even when things have gotten very extreme!
Overall Verdict: Men To Kiss is very silly and doesn’t make much sense, but if you fancy something that’s more than a little camp, jumps along with a smile on its face and certainly manages to entertain – even while it’s challenging your credulity – you could do a lot worse.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac