›› An Unusual Affair - Eine Aussergewöhnliche Affäre
the married repercussions of letting your homosexual heart run free.
With shades of Making Love, let alone the film Mulligans, the theme of a married man coming to terms with his homosexual side sounds its emotional heartbeat again in this well played German telemovie.
For married with children Jochen Wenzel is in a staid relationship with his childhood sweetheart Ina; a relationship that he equally shares with her professionally, given both are teachers at the same school. Only when an openly gay and all too attractive biology teacher arrives in the form of long haired and blue-eyed twenty-something Tom Leuthner, Jochenís homosexual roots are soon to be found exposed. As the reality of her husbandsí unusual affair hits the Wenzel household, the question beckons whether Jochen is prepared to leave his wife, let alone his beloved son and daughter, to finally let his homosexual heart run free?
Realistically showcasing the emotional breakdown of a family unit, this honest depiction of the consequences of a married man being true to his sexual self is limited solely by way of the restrictions of a telemovie production. That is not to say that Hans Werner Meyer as Jochen and Tatjana Blacher as Ina do not shine in their roles. Indeed and if anything, they give remarkably compelling portrayals of their respective situations, unlike Matthias Walter who as out and proud Tom is all but left to play the pretty boy catalyst of the piece, wanting his man, but knowing the difficulties inherent in such a relationship.
That this feature does not judge, preferring instead to present the story matter-of-fact style, is to its credit, even if it has more than a number of coincidences, not least of which is Inaís male dance teacher being the object of Jochenís school days gay desire. That the marriage itself has long gone past its sell by date, lacking the sheer chemistry that Jochen found with Tom, paves the way for Ina should she care to press the button, to build a new life with her more than a sympathetic shoulder to cry on,
dance partner Wolfgang. Only as to whether it ends that way, would be saying. But and in the words of the classic Nina Simone song Feeling Good, a new dawn, a new day and a new life are destined for one and all, as the repercussions on others of letting your captive heart go free, are brought home in this intensely poignant work.