“I hope you’re your old self.”
Marianne (Marianne Sagebrecht) is a lonely mortician’s assistant. Her life consists of a boring routine. She commutes to and from work in the subway, dresses corpses all day long, and in the evening, she eats non-stop in bed while watching the television. She’s overweight, plain, and unloved. Marianne repels even the neighbours and shopkeepers, and they shun her as a result. Marianne moves through her life like a zombie.
Then one day, Marianne notices the voice of a new driver over the subway’s loudspeaker system. It’s as though she springs to life. She becomes obsessed with the driver–the young, slim, good-looking Herr Huber (Eisi Gulp). She begins a quest to discover details of Huber’s life, and in the process of stalking him, she undergoes a personal transformation.
Sugarbaby or Zugarbaby (the film’s German title) is basically a love story. Marianne and Huber are an incongruous couple. She’s much older than him, and then there are striking physical differences. None of those things matter to Marianne. She’s determined to have Huber, and she doesn’t contemplate rejection once. As far as she’s concerned, he’s hers, and it’s just a matter of time before it happens. Director Percy Adlon has made a few superb films starring Sagebrecht (Rosalie Goes Shopping and Baghdad Cafe). Each film places Marianne Sagebrecht in a quirky, central role. In Sugarbaby, she plays a single-minded woman whose obsession is actually a positive force. The plot is delivered with a degree of humour and a touch of the bizarre. Fans of German cinema won’t want to miss this. The film is in German with English subtitles.