This one really hits close to home

by Martin Hafer

Soof is a Dutch film that really hits close to home, as my life is pretty similar to the one you see in this film—at least in some ways.  Soof is a Dutch caterer who suddenly becomes a super-star caterer—and goes from barely getting by in her business to hosting party after party for the rich and famous.  And, much of the film is about the difficulties she and her husband have dealing with this as well as its impact on their long marriage.  Well, in our 40s, my wife went from being an unknown small-time author to world-famous and suddenly I was in the same situation as the husband, Kas.  I quit my job and was now the house wife…I mean, house husband.  However, fortunately, our story is a bit different.  I am an excellent cook, we BOTH worked on remodeling our home and we have never been happier—though I could easily see how folks in a similar situation could react much like Soof and Kas!  Big change like this is hard on a marriage—especially when you’ve gotten yourselves into a bit of a rut.  So how will this pair get themselves out of this rut or will they?  This is the reason to watch the film.

Soof
Directed by
Antoinette Beumer
Cast
Fedja van Huêt, Chantal Janzen, Maryam Hassouni
Release Date
2014
Martin’s Grade: A-

Soof works very well because the script is does a great job of balancing humor, drama and human nature.  The way that two middle-aged married people work through this hurdle is what makes me assume the screenwriter, Marjolein Beumer, also must have lived through this sort of upheaval—or at least she really did her homework because she got it right!  As a result, folks in their middle years really will enjoy the film and should be able to relate to much of it—such as the routine nature of sex (I loved where she fell asleep during this—that was really funny), the difficulty balancing a career and family as well as temptation—and Soof and Kas both have quite a bit of all these to deal with in the movie.

It is fortunate that in addition to the excellent writing that the actors in the film do a great job of bringing their characters to life.  Some of it is due to the writing and some due to the director and some due to just really nice acting.

This is a winning comedy with a very sharp edge.  My only complaint, and it’s a very minor one, is that they made both Kas and Soof (particularly Kas) a bit too clueless and their characters occasionally too broad.  But, on the other hand, if both had their heads on perfectly straight, there really wouldn’t have been any reason for the film in the first place!  Folks successfully working through such big transitions in their lives would make for a very boring motion picture!!  The ones that have to struggle to reinvent themselves—that makes for an interesting film.  Well worth your time and a film that sure made me smile—especially with the ridiculous but fun finale.