THE WEDDING COW (DIE HOCHZEITSKUH) Image

Nominate “The Wedding Cow” for next year’s Academy Awards. The category: Best German Romantic Comedy Starring A Bovine. Sure it’s a stretch, but this idyllic romantic farce, in danger of encountering the same apathetic reaction common to most foreign language films, deserves some sort of recognition. When Flora (Isabella Parkinson), a sheltered, charmingly prudish librarian on her way to a new job, has her purse ripped off by an unscrupulous con man, she has no money to buy her train ticket. Unceremoniously booted off the train, the unprepared, high-maintenance hitchhiker gets picked up by Tim (Oliver Reinhard). Tim, a plumber whose overbearing mom dominates his life by way of telephone, is heading south to his own wedding like a man condemned. He’s not travelling alone, however. The sweet and gentle Hannah the Holstein, a wedding present from his aunt, rides along contentedly in her red trailer…or at least she was riding along until Flora, trying to be helpful, inadvertently lets her out. This sets in motion a downward spiral of supremely silly events, as the lovably exasperating Flora and the patiently exasperated Tim, joined later by teen-aged runaway Jo (Julia Stoll-Palmer), struggle to recover Hannah and get Tim to the wedding on time. A friendly Film Threat comedy tip: Cows are always funny, even when they’re not being tipped by — or on — drunken frat rats. Fortunately, Hannah isn’t the only comical creature in this wacky and winning film from Tomi Streiff. Parkinson and Reinhard are wonderful here; their unforced charisma imbuing their developing odd couple romance with natural chemistry. “The Wedding Cow” is this festival’s unheralded diamond in the rough. Here’s hoping others get a chance to see this international take on the universal language of love. After all, no one needs a subtitle to understand “Moo.”

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