Starring: Yon González, Julián López, Blanca Suárez
Director: Nacho García Velilla
Running Time: 104 mins
Off Course (Perdiendo el Norte) is a Spanish film about two Spanish men, frustrated by the uselessness of their degrees, who emigrate to Berlin to find a proper job, but realise things aren’t quite as simple as they expected.
While Off Course doesn’t really get any plaudits for being the world’s most original film, it is still an enjoyable and pleasant watch throughout, with some good laughs complemented by a sweet romance story, even if that is occasionally disrupted by some overly farcical antics throughout.
First off, however, this might not be an endlessly hilarious film, nor one that will have you on the edge of your seat throughout, but it is entertaining enough to give you an easy-going watch throughout. With two young professionals ending up completely out of their comfort zone and having to adjust, the film is ripe for all sorts of awkward mishaps, while its central romance is simple enough to let you sit back and enjoy a generic but at times enjoyably familiar story.
When it comes to the comedy, it’s not amazing all the way through, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few good laughs here and there, whether it be an easy bit of slapstick or a clever little dig at the cultural divide between Northern and Southern Europe, following a group of Spanish emigrants settling into German culture despite the obvious differences between their respective worlds.
As a result, Off Course is an enjoyable film, and as long as you don’t expect too much from it, then it will prove an entertaining hour and a half without a doubt.
With that said, however, I felt that a lot more could have been done here to make for a better film, namely when it comes to the story at hand. Yes, it’s easy-going and pleasantly familiar throughout, but too often does the story descend into farce when some of its more serious elements are actually more engrossing.
While some of its more grandiose social themes around unemployment and economic emigration aren’t quite as interesting as the film tries to put across, there are some wonderful emotional beats that it gets just right, particularly with that sweet central romance that, while not totally unpredictable, proves genuinely engaging up until it’s interrupted by an irritatingly silly final act.
Of course, Off Course isn’t a film that’s meant to be taken totally seriously, and it does enough to prove a genuinely enjoyable watch throughout despite its rather generic plot. It’s not perfect, and there are better comedies out there, but it’s an entertaining and easy-going watch nonetheless, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.3 overall.