"Young Goethe" looks great, and the cast is appealing. But the story is riddled with clichés and fabrications, like a duel between Lotte's two suitors.
| Original Score: 2/4
Mr. Fehling, tumbling from puppy dog eagerness into weepy, inky self-pity, never quite rises to the requirements of the role, which may be hopelessly incoherent in any case.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
It's ... unworthy of Mr. Stölzl, who amid all the facile antics does manage to show his directorial mettle, if only in a single and critical scene...
A biopic about the early adventures of Goethe at work, in love, and creating his first masterwork.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Whatever its basis in fact, there's nothing to Young Goethe In Love's story that dozens of other films haven't done before, and better.
| Original Score: C+
Though far from the rollicking success of Shakespeare in Love or as moving as Goethe's original tale, this visually lush, well-acted German-language biopic is a worthy take on a formative period in the great writer's life.
Highbrow pedigree is mostly window dressing for a commercial period romance about Germany's literary giant.
That this film was originally titled Goethe! should give you a sense of how much silly Sturm und Drang boosterism awaits.
What was an irreverent look at genius becomes just another irrelevant biopic.
| Original Score: 2/5
Philipp Stölzl's film takes both Goethe's genius and the inevitable superiority of the brand of romanticism that marked his early work as a given.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
A touching German romance that blows American rom-coms out of the water.
| Original Score: A-
Well plotted and impressively mounted.
A doomed love affair that inspired a literary genius.
| Original Score: 4/5