Berlin & Beyond Preview, Part II

I managed to screen one more film before the festival:

Runaway Horse, Castro, Sunday, 8:15. Nothing like running into an old friend to ruin your vacation. You can certainly understand why Helmut feels that way. The old college buddy who suddenly turns up at the beach is loud, boisterous, and annoying, and comes adorned with a young, beautiful, and highly distracting girlfriend. Helmut can’t understand why his wife seems taken in with this new couple. But as we get to know Helmut better, the filmmakers show us that the friend isn’t the real problem. Deeply depressed socially, sexually, and emotionally, Helmut needs to be shocked back into life. At times Runaway Horse feels too pat, and the ending–which veers close to magical realism–only satisfies until the credits fade, but this story of four mismatched souls on vacation manages to be funny, heart-warming, intuitive, sexy, scary, suspenseful, and even occasionally wise.