Young Goethe In Love Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 31, 2013
Really nice, beautiful, and essentially true story about a great mind. A classic style love story produced in a literate, artistic, and tasteful manner...much unlike most cheap Hollywood romance productions these days. Really well done film...
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2011
In 18th century Europe, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe is a young scholar with abundant affection, but challenged by a competition. Iambic, but considerably hackneyed, Goethe! eventually conquered simplicity and monotony by abandoning the conventions of the genre satisfying the audience with an unexpected accommodating resolution. Enlightened.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
September 19, 2013
With Johann Goethe(Alexander Fehling) in short order flunking his doctoral exam and being rejected by a publisher, it is no wonder that his father(Henry Hubchen) sends him to the provinces to apprentice under the very watchful eye of Albert Kestner(Moritz Bleibtreu). At least, Johann makes a quick friend in Wilhelm Jerusalem(Volker Bruch) but the dancing leaves a little something to be desired. At least, until Johann bumps into Lotte Buff(Miriam Stein) and hears her sing in church.

"Young Goethe in Love" is a mixed bag to say the least, starting with its visuals which include a couple of superb shots but is more often than not rather shoddy. In trying to show that a writer needs to have experience before setting pen to paper, the movie depicts Goethe's early story as little more than just another banal story of romance. That's all the while there is something much darker going on beneath the surface which while leading to a few surprises that salvage the movie also almost go unacknowledged until the postcript.
December 16, 2012
Very good movie. I was expecting to be a little bit more biographical, but it is actually just the story of his first book. Very good acting.
August 8, 2012
Young Goethe In Love is a pleasant diversion for one who wants to escape a harrowing reality. As our safe, cinematic world of make-believe has been forcefully intruded-upon by destruction and hate, it is going to take some time for (my idea of) magic to return to the screen which had the ability to transport me from one carefree reality to the next. It is appropriate that my "first" film is one that is grounded in reality. Young Goethe In Love is about a bumbling law clerk named Johann Goethe who fails his law school exit exams because he wants to be a poet! In 1772 Germany -- unless your name is something like Shakespeare -- poetry was frowned upon and considered a frivolous pursuit and so Johann tries to please his father by learning a trade. The highly intelligent yet fanciful Goethe is favored by the local court's superior officer and Goethe also catches the eye of a local beauty, Lotte, who has many MANY siblings. An attraction forms between Johann and Lotte (think Shakespeare in Love) but it is quickly revealed that the ever-dutiful daughter is betrothed to another (her fiance can afford to support her family) and Young Goethe is both in love and in agony. It is during this time of his life that Goethe wrote one of his most well-known pieces of literature -- "The Sorrows of Young Werther". The film is fanciful and light-hearted enough to remain daffy, alluring and sentimental but it also has some moments of somber sulleness. I appreciated the attention paid to detail here -- urban 1772 Germany was not pretty or clean. Love stories will oftentimes romanticize everything in a film which distracts; but this is not the case with Goethe! There is some joy and there is some despair and through the happiness and tears we have strum und drang. This is not as good as Shakespeare's inspiring tale of forbidden love; but I did enjoy it and I believe those in the mood for a (sub-titled) romance will like what they see.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
September 19, 2013
With Johann Goethe(Alexander Fehling) in short order flunking his doctoral exam and being rejected by a publisher, it is no wonder that his father(Henry Hubchen) sends him to the provinces to apprentice under the very watchful eye of Albert Kestner(Moritz Bleibtreu). At least, Johann makes a quick friend in Wilhelm Jerusalem(Volker Bruch) but the dancing leaves a little something to be desired. At least, until Johann bumps into Lotte Buff(Miriam Stein) and hears her sing in church.

"Young Goethe in Love" is a mixed bag to say the least, starting with its visuals which include a couple of superb shots but is more often than not rather shoddy. In trying to show that a writer needs to have experience before setting pen to paper, the movie depicts Goethe's early story as little more than just another banal story of romance. That's all the while there is something much darker going on beneath the surface which while leading to a few surprises that salvage the movie also almost go unacknowledged until the postcript.
July 30, 2013
Goethe's character in this film reminds me of Mozart in Amadeus, but other characters are impressively performed and depicted.
ray
½ October 1, 2012
First option, make a film about the life of Goethe, artsy and misunderstood - boring.
Second option, make a historically inaccurate film to about the life of Goethe to provide light entertainment for all crowds - boring.

Why on earth do you give a film the Amadeus/Shakespeare in Love treatment if it's a dud after all.
The formula doesn't work to well anyways (I think because it's not adopted consequently enough) and especially in the later parts I'm not sure if director Stölzl secretly regretted it to make a pop film instead of an art film about the subject.

There's no good, serious, film about Germany's greatest writer at all, so why start with the fresh and new version?

I don't like the formula they put on these films anyways, radically fictionalized, strongly dramatized and historically highly inaccurate it has next to nothing in common with the real life of Goethe - it mixes his life with the ongoings in his debut novel Die Leiden des Jungen Werthers (which happens to be one of my favourite books) which is not a bad idea per se but in this case it just fails because of a lack of determination and a little to much ambition. This is more Hollywood than German productions are usually good at and you can easily see this.

Only Moritz Bleibtreu as Kestner shows his versatility which is why he's one of the best German actors working today. Alexander Fehling and Miriam Stein are promising in some scenes but overall, Goethe is not a big achievement artistically.
½ September 24, 2012
Although Goethe was indeed young enough (by our standards) when this interlude occurred, it was even then not his first love affair. The idea of imitating the 'Shakespeare In Love' model is palpable in this film, but notably less successful. The writers introduce some fine period scenery and well-done tableaus of domestic life, but also some preposterous plot twists and anachronisms. Which raises the perennial question: Why can't the already interesting life of a major cultural figure be 'played straight' in a big-budget piece such as this one? It seems we'll have to wait for the Brits to take a whack at the subject.
September 3, 2012
Great fun, though it deviates both from Goethe's life (Kestner was not Goethe's boss and he was engaged to Lotte before Goethe and Lotte met) and the Sorrow's of Young Werther, Goethe's greatest success. Fehling looks a lot like the young Goethe, and the actress who plays Lotte is cheerful and energetic. Beautiful forests, good ensemble scenes. The scene in which goethe is brought back to life by the success of his book would not have happened in that way, since Lotte was not the one who took it to the publisher and it was published anonymously. But the film was quite enjoyable.
June 23, 2012
It's filled with stylish set pieces and costumes; if only it was more compelling.
November 6, 2011
poetry poetry poetry! a beautiful love story :)
perfect for those who like out-of-hollywood movies and at the same time learn something new about Goethe who was such a important personality in the history of poetry, literature, and the other fields which he worked on
October 11, 2011
A serviceable period rom-com with great sets. (Strangely the outdoor mattes or digital recreations all look like HDR prints.) Sort of a blend of Amadeus with Shakespeare in Love. Dialog never challenges the fast moving subtitles, but slices of Goethe poetry are dropped nicely into the movie. A delight seeing Moritz Bleibtreu (Run Lola Run) as a stiff-yet-passionate lawyer. Alexander Fehling (Inglourious Basterds) adds lanky good looks as Goethe.
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2011
In 18th century Europe, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe is a young scholar with abundant affection, but challenged by a competition. Iambic, but considerably hackneyed, Goethe! eventually conquered simplicity and monotony by abandoning the conventions of the genre satisfying the audience with an unexpected accommodating resolution. Enlightened.
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