Faraway (2023)

Faraway (2023)

A charming middle-aged romance where a mother finds solace in her mother’s Croatian roots

7.4

Movie

Croatia, Germany
Croatian, English, German
Comedy, Romance
2023
FEMALE DIRECTOR, VANESSA JOPP
Adnan Maral, Adriana Altaras, Artjom Gilz
109 min

TLDR

You know how in the 2000s, there were more middle-aged romances that were slightly problematic, but still had some charm? Here’s the anti-Airbnb, cottagecore, Croatia tourism ad version.

What it's about

Tired of her family’s lack of appreciation, Zeynep Altin leaves Munich in order to reclaim the house her mother left behind. She could successfully sell it off, if only the current resident, Josip Cega, is willing to relocate.

The take

Middle-aged romances aren't really a popular genre. After all, it tends to be predictable, problematic, and it can sometimes feel like seeing your parents have sex. Other films try to spice it up with a great looking location, pretty cinematography, and all the romance tropes, and Croatian-German film Faraway has plenty of that in store. However, it also happens to be a film where a middle-aged woman finds solace with her Croatian mom’s culture, after years of assimilating to the countries of her dad, and later, her husband. While not perfect, Faraway feels so charming and it has the rare sincerity missing from many middle-aged romcoms.

What stands out

Faraway is a cheesy, cliché romcom, and even with the genre’s bad rep, the film unashamedly leans into it. This film has the charming meet-cute, the initial biting back-and-forth, and yes, even the love triangle (though, it’s more of a complicated web than a triangle). However, the film grounds these tropes with real-life issues that’s rarely seen on screen. Sure, the main couple is the standard enemies-to-lovers trope, but wouldn’t anyone be instant enemies if they’re set to sell your home to the highest bidder just so they can rent it to some tourist? And sure, the underappreciated mom isn’t new, but has any film talked about how mixed culture families oftentimes sacrifice the mom’s culture to assimilate to the dad’s? While the film could have better balanced these topics with the romance, Faraway still manages a sincere depiction of these issues.

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