Film Commentary [4-11-00]
A man, a woman, a cow - - The Wedding Cow (Die Hochzietskuh)
Genre: Comedy
Grade = A-
German with English subtitles



German road movie. Flora (Isabella Parkinson) is on her way to a new librarian job in southern Germany when her money and papers are stolen by a con man before she can buy a train ticket. As a result, she is forced to hitchhike with her four suitcases. Luckily, she is picked up by a van driven by Tim (Oliver Reinhard), a plumber, who is on his way to his wedding. Also in the back of the van is a cow named Hannah. She is a wedding present from Tim’s aunt. Stopping at a filling station, Flora, promising to water Hannah, instead ends up losing her.

Over the next three days the three face various misadventures, including the search for Hannah, picking up a runaway who promptly steals the van, finding and stealing Hannah back from butchers and spending a night in a five star hotel with said cow(they get her up to the room in the freight elevator).

Directed by Tomi Streiff, a German who lives in New York, this is at time an hysterically funny film. This film is more along the lines of the old fashioned road pictures such as It Happen One Night or The Sure Thing. It is more whimsical than your average comedy with characters that usually speak like ordinary human beings rather than snapping off one-liners or insults as in most American comedies. The characters are extraordinarily likeable and grow on you instantly. The star of the film is, of course, Hanna the cow, who manages to steal every scene she’s in.

Streiff was present at the screening and answered a few questions. He stated that he originally wanted to shoot the film in Texas, but instead was shot in Switzerland because it was funded through their TV studio. One lady asked the question "Who trained the cow?" I at first thought it was a stupid question, however, this turned into an entertaining explaination. It seems it usually takes six months to train a cow for a motion picture. However, the trainer only got three. The cow herself ended up being very smart and was easily trained to take direction. After filming was complete, the cow was sent home. After being surrounded by people and the center of attention for several weeks, it seems the cow missed the excitement and fell into a state of deep depression, refusing to eat for four days. However, the cow now has a big movie career in Germany and has appeared in three new films. The two stars of the film are well-know German actors with guest starring roles by two big name German actors as hotel clerks (none of which I have heard of but then again I rarely get to see modern German movies).

Strieff himself really looks like an independent film maker. His hair is five different colors and he looks like he plays guitar in an 80s rock band.


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