Hufters en Hofdames (Bastards and Bridesmaids)

Described as a story about the twenty-something group in Amsterdam struggling for love, this is a fine film for the adolescent mind that hasn't yet been introduced to the viewpoint that women are naturally more attracted to men who abuse their friendship and treat them badly. Director/writer Eddy Terstall has surpassed his previous offering Valhalla.

© Concorde Film, Den Haag
Two guys with a different approach to life go about attacking their girl problems each in his own particular way. Gino (Arthur de Boer) is butch and bad; he treats his ladies whatever way he wants and they keep coming back for more. Dimitri (Marc van Uchelen) is the soft, romantic (i.e. boring) type who never seems to get anywhere, especially not to the place he wants to get. Dimitri's buddy Maarten (Daan Ekkel) and his wife Floor (Natasja Loturco) are interspersed for comic relief at intervals when the knowledgeable husband is always prepared to serve up sexist advice for Dimitri (usually over the phone) to the chagrin, dismay, annoyance, and upset of his wife.

The film attempts to be streetwise and "typically Dutch" in its use of language, inclusion of home-grown weed, visits to terraced cafes, and general relaxed atmosphere. It's enough to put you to sleep. The producers believe that the film deals with aspects familiar to men and interesting to women while remaining tongue-in-cheek in approach. Excuse me while I choke.

Superb points for the debut feature film performance of Arthur De Boer as Gino. De Boer works professionally as a sports journalist for the Dutch newspaper Het Parool, but has previously appeared onscreen in George Sluizer's film Dying to Go Home playing a supporting role. An eye-opening talent as far as Dutch acting is concerned.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett