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Film review: Nobody Loves Me

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 21 1996 12:00 a.m. MST

Doris Dorrie is probably best-known for her decade-old hilarious social comedy "Men . . .," which introduced her as a genuine rarity for American moviegoers — a Ger man filmmaker with a sense of humor.

None of that morose, brooding stuff for her. Dorrie wants to make us laugh and think at the same time, as she explores universal themes that surround human feelings about love, life and death.

And in her latest effort, "Nobody Loves Me," she spends a lot of time on death. Think of any generic, single-woman-looking-for-love picture you can name crossed with "Harold and Maude."

"Nobody Loves Me" is awkwardly structured and not nearly as satisfying as "Men . . . " but it does have its moments in the story of Fanny Fink (played by the delightful Maria Schrader), a sad young woman who is approaching her 30th birthday and is looking for love. Not that she thinks a woman needs a man to be complete, as she explains early in the film — but she's lonely.

And no wonder. Her sphere is overloaded with weirdos, from the goofball tenants in her dilapidated apartment building to a sexist co-worker at the airport where she works as a luggage handler to her distraught mother, an author who is convinced that literary critics are conspiring against her.

So, when Fanny becomes friends with Orfeo (Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss), the gay, psychic, voodoo, drag queen, fortuneteller, who lives down the hall — a guy who likes to paint big white polka dots all over his bald skull, or to occasionally make himself look like a skeleton — it figures that he will be the most "normal" person she knows. (The film is set in Cologne during the annual carnival, a sort of German Mardi Gras, allowing for many oddly dressed characters.)

Given encouragement by Orfeo's psychic talent, Fanny begins pursuing the new manager of her apartment building, though he will prove to be a two-timing dork. And eventually, as it is revealed that Orfeo is dying — though the film makes a point of saying it is not from AIDS — Fanny begins to see life through his eyes and comes to realize things aren't so bad for her after all. (Self-indulgence is the most obvious satirical target here.)

There is a fantasy ending and some wildly amusing situations (one being a night-school course on "conscious dying"), but there are also quite a few sluggish areas where the film begins to drag.

It is not rated, but would rate an R for sex, nudity, profanity, vulgarity and some violence.