CIFF Film Review #3 – 100 Of The Things We Can’t Live Without

Part Romance,  part buddy comedy,  part social commentary on over-consumption. Put it all together and you have the ultimate feel good movie of the film festival in “100 Things.”

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From director Florian David Fitz and in German (which yes, means subtitles), is the story of two best friends and a crazy bet. Toni and Paul are close as brothers, who have created an app that gives cell phone voices personalities to match the owners.  When Toni uses Paul’s personal information as a selling point to an American investor to show how their tech could be used to convince people to buy more, Paul is furious.

The two friends make a drunken bet to give up everything they own for 100 days (including clothes). At the end of each day, they can take back one item a piece.  First to quit loses their share of the investment to their staff.

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What ensues is both hilarious and revealing as both men begin to recognize their severe dependence on the materials they’ve bought. From Paul desperate to regain his phone and shallow Toni eager to get his hair pills back before he goes bald.

But just when the antics between the two friends couldn’t get any sillier, enter the dame.

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Paul and Toni meet a mysterious neighbor in the warehouse where all their belongings are held, and Toni is instantly smitten. However, this furthers the divide between the two friends as it rehashes an old tension that they never resolved.

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Midway through this film, you begin to wonder if you’re watching a poignant satire on our obsession over acquiring more and more stuff or a good, honest, true to heart love story. And both are correct. The film weaves between these two worlds and others brilliantly. As Toni and Paul fight to win the bet, they reconnect with family, fall in love, and discover the actual things they can’t live without.

Well cast, beautifully shot, and written with introspection and sharp humor, all while not taking itself too seriously.  “100 Things” will be the darling of this year’s film festival and it is well deserved.

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