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German 2010 movie dealing with a coming-of-age story of politically messed up guys.The Berlin Wall fell and two lifelong friends from East Germany, Veit and Tom, are prone to travel to San Francisco, the former one in order to find his father whose only life sign since his flight out of the GDR is an annual happy birthday postcard always stamped from the same post office in San Francisco.Their low budget only gets them a flight to New York and the rest doesn't suffice for a rail ticket, ending them up on an adventurous road trip across the country, never sure if they get to Frisco in time, and always in need to earn money to get there.
This Film Provides Examples Of:
The Alleged Car: Veit fantasizes about watching a Trabant driving down the Golden Gate Bridge and the fantasy becomes reality in the end.
Flashback: Tom and Veit getting to know each other as schoolchildren and stretching antennas to receive West radio.
From a Certain Point of View: Deconstructed. Veit always told Tom that his father died before they met and, when Tom finds out about the postcards somewhere in New York, argues that he said so because he was dead to him and wanted to forget his father after he flew to the West and he feared that his real motivation for the journey would make Tom call off his accompaniment. In the end we learn that his father has in fact been dead all the time, but Veit couldn't know that.
Locked Out of the Loop: Veit is a culprit and a victim of this. Veit pulls his certain point of view on Tom when it comes to explaining his father's absence. And the Stasi pulled their certain point of view on Veit's family.
Love Triangle: A type 4 among Veit (A), Zoe (B) and Tom (C). Veit is so furious about Zoe spending the night with Tom that he drives to Frisco alone and leaves Tom behind at the motel. Tom will later pettily complain about Veit that he could at least have told him which post office in Frisco they were to go.
Luke, I Am Your Father: Discussed. Zoe has to explain her unsavvy East German companions about the Star Wars plot and shows parallels between Luke's quest in Star Wars and Veit's quest in the movie.
MacGuffin: The birthday postcards to Veit are the pretext for the whole journey. Oh, the Darth Vader helmet and the lightsword in the car trunk also provide for... the explanation above.
On the Money: They show quite some creativity in earning money on their trip.
Overprotective Dad: Things get awry when the boys flee the house they were dragged off to by some girls in Tennessee when gun crazy daddy gets back home.
STD Immunity: Played with. When Amber (the blonde of the two chicks in Tennessee) refuses to have unprotected sex with him when condoms aren't handy and reasons with HIV awareness, low-brow Tom tries to talk her into it stating that he cannot have HIV/AIDS as he's from the East and that they didn't have it there. note The major wave may have been mostly halted by the Iron Curtain for some time, but that didn't close detours for the virus. The GDR was completely aware of this and managed it rather well. His proposal to get oral sex instead is rejected with awe.
Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Subverted. It's lampshaded as the subtitle is "The first Ossis (Easterners) in America... based on an almost true story", but the journey really happened and the making-of even shows interviews with the real-life Tom Zickler whose story the movie is based on.
Also inverted at the supermarket scene to be in New Mexico:
Tom: Who's supposed to understand us? Have you ever encountered anybody here in America speaking something else but American? Look at that... (watching out to local girl) yeah, my friend would like to marry you and then just eat and eat like you until he gets just as round and polly! (local girl laughs) There she laughs!
This is later subverted to hell with Zoe, a half-German girl understanding every word of Tom's would-you-go-to-bed-with-me question. She'll later give them shelter and follow them up to Vegas.