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Summers Downstairs

Layabout Matthi has moved into his rich parents' holiday cottage with his girlfriend and her son in the South of France. Tensions rise when his brother turns up to spend his holidays in the house, in this very well observed summer comedy.


Actor Tom Sommerlatte has made a summery and confident comedy with his first directorial turn. It’s a jovial family drama with many nice details. Slacker Matthi (Sebastian Fräsdorf) has been living in his wealthy family’s vacation home in Southern France all year. He lives there with his French girlfriend Camille (Alice Pehlivanyan) and her 5 year old son Etienne and has become a sort of father figure for him in the meantime. It’s summer and the idyllic flowery wallpaper is shining and except for some tiffs with the girlfriend everything is going swell. The atmosphere changes when Matthis’ tense banker brother David (Godehard Giese) arrives a week earlier than planned with his wife Lena (Karin Hanczewski) and everyone is on edge in no time. David was looking forward to a relaxed vacation and was not counting on having children around, Matthi feels pressured by everyone and Camille is understandably upset when she finds out that Matthi has not told his family about her son and isn’t ready to defend him. Lena, on the other hand, wants to do good by everyone which is annoying for everyone. All this works because Sommerlatte depicts his protagonists and all their small nuances so well with Sebastian Fräsdorf as Matthi being the clear stand out. Sommerlatte also has a great ear for the dialogues between the couples: one second they are frustrated and the next they are amused or when they jump from confiding to each other to being dismissive.

Toni Ohms

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Im Sommer wohnt er unten
Deutschland/Frankreich 2015, 100 min
Genre: Tragicomedy
Director: Tom Sommerlatte
Author: Tom Sommerlatte
DOP: Willi Böhm
Montage: Anna Kappelmann
Distributor: Kinostar Filmverleih
Cast: Sebastian Fräsdorf, Alice Pehlivanyan, Karin Hanczewski, Godehard Giese, William Peiro
FSK: 12
Release: 29.10.2015


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