Nach Fünf im Urwald (1995) Poster

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J. Steed27 October 1999
Hans Christian Schmid directed with sure hand and light touch this funny and very enjoyable coming of age comedy. Well, coming of age?; not only the Potente character is coming of age during her stay in Munich, the parents as well are finally coming of age. That is: Schmid tells us that one is never too old to be young. In the end both young and old have done a lot of innocent mischief.

Schmid shows us that adulthood is not something that has to do with age and doing mischief does not mean one is no adult. He shows us young people who can not behave, but also a neighbour who in his small-mindedness is of child-like mind. The macho doorman at the disco shrinks when the mother uses verbal bluff. With these scenes and others like these Schmid very quietly makes his point.

At times the film can not avoid cliches like the scenes in the house of production manager Nick; ah yes, of course Zille has slept with Nick. The people the Potente character meets during her Munich stay should have been more thought-out, they are no more than standard characterizations. The well-written script has a couple of fine ideas; these include the Janis Joplin inspired commercial and the cynic comments by the young girl Clara in her diary entries. If you ever want to see a dead hare blown dry by a hair drier, watch this film.

The great Franka Potente leads a very good cast with a very good Thomas Schmauser as Simon.
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Decent start, but turns into pointless hipster garbage quickly
Horst_In_Translation19 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Nach Fünf im Urwald" or "It's a Jungle Out There" is a German 90-minute film from 1995, so this one had its 20th anniversary last year. It was directed by Hans-Christian Schmid (one of Germany's most successful filmmakers even today) and he is also one of the people who worked on the script here. It's about a teenage girl (played by the very young Franka Potente) and how she has a huge party for her 17th birthday. Unfortunately, something very precious to her dad gets destroyed and there is also a big argument about when she should come home and what's appropriate for a girl her age. All a bit generic and nothing too memorable, but not necessarily bad. The first 20 minutes or so were a decent watch here. But quickly afterward, it goes south for almost everybody and everything involved. The girls runs away from home with a friend and meets sleazy people who have nothing good in mind for her. So yeah, you can call it a bit of a more harmless version of the Natalie (Babystrich) film(s). Anyway, back to this one here. The action surrounding Potente's character is still somewhat fine, even if the characters she meets, such as von Bülow's, were really written not well at all in terms of their actions and behavior. But the worst thing in the second half of the film are certainly the scenes that depict the girls' parents with her friends' parents and how they keep rambling about how they were pretty bad themselves back then and how you should actually not be too harsh towards your kids. The film hits rock-bottom when they start smoking weed together. Oh well.. I am all for political/social statements in film, but if everything surrounding these statements feels so lackluster, then it's just not working. You can't really blame Potente (who of course became a big star not much later) for this being a really weak film overall and same can probably be said about the other actors (some known names like Milberg, Manzel, von Bülow, Canonica, Otto), but the ones to blame are the writers and it's especially disappointing if there are three writers and they end up like too many cooks spoiling the brother instead of recognizing each other's shortcomings. As a whole, this film is not a failure, but it's way too weak to let me recommend it. It was a missed opportunity and the cast is much better than they are allowed to show here. Don't watch.
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Very funny and entertaining
A-N-N-A-229 June 1999
This film combines really funny ideas. You can see that the film makers didn't have a big budget, but that makes "Nach Fünf im Urwald" even more charming. This will especially be very interesting for you, if you've seen "23 - Nichts ist so wie es scheint" (1998) or "Lola rennt" (1998), because this film was the debut for "23"'s director Hans-Christian Schmid and for Franka "Lola" Potente. Girls, watch out for Max Urlacher as Ben, he's SO cute!
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