Sweet Disaster Image

Sweet Disaster

By Andrew Stover | October 13, 2022

Life is full of surprises — some good, some bad. In director Laura Lehmus’ Sweet Disaster, a chance encounter, a dreamlike romance, a sudden break-up, and an unexpected pregnancy complicate the life of the vivacious protagonist. All these elements result in uniquely funny, alarming, and heartwarming situations that interlace to provide a compelling character arc.

Sweet Disaster opens with 40-year-old Frida (Friederike Kempter) meeting handsome pilot Felix (Florian Lukas). He has just concluded his shift and is now drinking his feelings away at an airport bar. Frida starts a conversation to learn more about his situation, and Felix reveals that he recently (and reluctantly) got out of an eight-year relationship with a woman named Natalie (Diana Ebert). Amid mourning, Frida and Felix hit it off, and a dreamy, fleeting love montage ensues.

Several months later, Frida unexpectedly gets pregnant. While worried about this unforeseen development, she is ultimately excited to be a mother and is hoping Felix will be too. While Felix said he’d be there for his kid, he’s leaving Frida to reignite his relationship with Natalie. Not discouraged by this second unforeseen development, Frida considers the joys of having a child while not deeply considering the obstacles.

“…Felix said he’d be there for his kid, he’s leaving Frida to reignite his relationship with Natalie.”

As Frida tries to win Felix back, she continues to work as a daycare worker and forges a friendship with her neighbor Yolanda (Lena Urzendowsky), a precocious teenager who has a knack for creating unusual inventions. The primary function of Frida’s friendship with Yolanda is to depict that Frida’s capable of being a mother. While Sweet Disaster makes the intentions and progressions of this relationship far too obvious, Kempter and Urzendowsky have great chemistry.

Frida and Felix’s complicated dynamic does lead to dramatic confrontations, but there is never any exorbitant shame placed on any of the characters, which is refreshing. Even when life gets her down, Frida maintains an optimistic attitude, and her unbridled imagination allows her to escape from her dour circumstances, even if only for a moment. Since Frida is written as this generally positive and confident person, Lehmus plays with luminous colors, whimsical sequences, and exaggerated humor to fluidly clash with the predicaments Frida finds herself in. And since Friederike Kempter gives a remarkable lead performance, expertly communicating all character attributes and anxieties with refinement, the movie always functions smoothly.

Sweet Disaster is certainly sweet, but it is no disaster. This delightfully quirky and endearing film understands the challenges of relationships, parenthood, and pregnancy. Screenwriter Ruth Toma supplies every character with personality and the ability to change naturally. They’re put in scenarios that allow them to be vulnerable but not be judged. This renders it easier for audiences to feel for Frida, even as she recklessly attempts to insert herself back into Felix’s life. 

Everyone deserves happiness, and while achieving it may be difficult, Lehmus creates a tale of perseverance that is tonally offbeat but authentic. Through a delectable mixture of tones, colors, and animated performances, Sweet Disaster is an absolute delight that will resonate with anyone facing the burden of loneliness.

Sweet Disaster (2022)

Directed: Laura Lehmus

Written: Ruth Toma

Starring: Friederike Kempter, Lena Urzendowsky, Florian Lukas, Diana Ebert, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Sweet Disaster Image

"…a delectable mixture of tones, colors, and animated performances..."

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