Young Goethe in Love (DVD Review)22 Apr, 2012 By: Angelique Flores
Box Office $0.16 million
In German with English subtitles.
Stars Alexander Fehling, Miriam Stein, Henry Huebchen, Moritz Bleibtreu, Burghart Klaussner, Volker Bruch.
Perhaps one of Johann Goethe’s most important works is The Sorrows of Young Werther. Loosely based on his own experiences about falling in love with a woman betrothed to another man, the novel pushed Goethe to popularity and fame.
Young Goethe in Love is a sweet romantic tragedy of a film based on that period in time. It’s 1772 Germany. A 23-year-old Johann (Alexander Fehling) has been studying law but fails his exams. His incensed father sends him to the small town of Wetzlar to work in law in hopes that his spirited son, who prefers literature, will settle down.
Johann excels at work, and he befriends stuttering co-worker Wilhelm Jerusalem. Still, the boisterous, affable young man doesn’t give up his passions. What really captures his heart is the beguiling Lotte (Miriam Stein). The two like-minded free spirits fall in love, but Lotte has been arranged to marry Albert Kestner, who will be able to provide well for Lotte and her family.
Brokenhearted, Johann turns to his writing and pens The Sorrows of Young Werther, sending Lotte a copy, which she publishes. Johann shortly thereafter leaves Wetzlar and upon his return home finds that the book has made the budding author famous.
Fehling (Inglourious Basterds) is wonderfully emotive as young Goethe, giving the historical figure a charming charisma equally capable of romance, joie de vivre and the utmost of sorrow.