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PURSUIT OF UNHAPPINESS, THE (ANLEITUNG ZUM UNGLÜCKLICHSEIN)

PURSUIT OF UNHAPPINESS, THE
Sherry Hormann, Peter Herrmann, Johanna Wokalek (photo © Desert Flower Film/Walter Wehner)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 03/2011

Based on the best-selling psychology book of the same title by Paul Watzlawick, ANLEITUNG ZUM UNGLÜCKLICHSEIN (“The Situation Is Hopeless, But Not Serious”), tells the story of Tiffany Blechschmid, a neurotic, moony, superstitious, contradictory and, no surprises here, single young woman in her late-twenties.

The Berlin gourmet shop she owns sells fortune cookies, although Tiffany herself has a great personal mistrust of good fortune, and especially happiness. Previously, every time she has felt happy has been followed immediately by some kind of disaster. It's enough to make her question the whole concept of happiness. Why, she asks herself, is everyone so crazy to find it? What does love have to do with happiness anyway? And how come we always trip ourselves up just when we might actually be getting closer to it, such as even when the man of Tiffany's dreams appears suddenly and unexpectedly too?

Fortunately, helpful maternal advice from beyond the grave, a nervous toucan, floating concert grand pianos, herds of cattle in the city traffic, egocentric wannabe lovers, off-center kisses and a painful secret are all there to give Tiffany what she needs to get herself sorted for life in this wistful and moving, light and breezy romantic comedy full of melancholic nuances and which combines images of gentle fantasy with surprising humor.

SK
Genre Comedy
Category Feature
Year of Production 2011
Director Sherry Hormann
Screenplay Sherry Hormann
Cinematography Wojciech Szepel
Cast Johanna Wokalek, Iris Berben, Richy Müller, David Kross, Katharina Marie Schubert, Margarita Broich, Itay Tiran, Benjamin Sadler, Rüdiger Vogler, Michael Gwisdek
Producer Peter Herrmann
Co-Producers Bettina Reitz, Hans-Wolfgang Jurgan, Bettina Ricklefs, Hubert von Spreti, Wolfgang Braun, Senta Menger, Christoph Fisser, Henning Molfenter, Carl L. Woebcken, Franz Kraus, Antonio Exacoustos, STUDIOCANAL/Berlin
Production Company Desert Flower Filmproduktion/Munich, in co-production with ARD Degeto, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Babelsberg Film, Studio Babelsberg, B.A. Produktion/Munich, MTM West/Cologne, Neue Schönhauser Filmproduktion
Original Version
 German
Shooting Dates June-August 2011
With backing from German Federal Film Board, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, German Federal Film Fund
German Distributor STUDIOCANAL/Berlin

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