When Friet an impossibly perfect German exchange student comes to stay with teenage Eva and her family in their home in rural Holland, life as they know it changes almost beyond recognition. Up till then this dysfunctional family has somehow coasted along, but that was all before Friet fed them doubt, fear, insecurity and even desire.
Eva’s parents Evert and Etty were on the brink of celebrating their 25th Wedding Anniversary, something that Etty, bored with both husband and children alike has very little enthusiasm for. Fliet is the first person ever to show her some attention, and she soon latches on to his meditating as maybe her salvation, even though she cannot ’empty her mind’ as he instructs. Evert is impressed when he catches Friet on the computer chatting with a small boy in Africa who he sends money too, and so he too ends up being taken in by the boy’s conning and next day he promises to send his entire savings to him. Erwin is 20 and about to set up his own apartment with his fiance until Friet makes him feel/think that maybe he is in fact gay. Manual is a tough 16 year old gang leader who feels threatened by Fliet’s popularity, and his easy success with women.
And then there is tubby friendless Eva who is teased relentlessly by her class mates and ignored by even her own family. Even though she has absolutely nothing in common with Fliet, she squirrels her way into his bed and he obliges her without any sign of emotion.
This odd-ball quirky comedy has quite rightly been likened to that of a Wes Anderson movie. Seeing this somewhat wacky family re-invent themselves so is really quite funny. However, whilst I like rather bizarre humour, I appreciate it is something of an acquired taste. A little like the weiners that Manuel wins prizes for eating in bulk!