"Der Vorname" is a new German 90-minute film from 2018. Here we have the most recent effort by director Sönke Wortmann, still very well-known here in Germany, and after some not so great works it seems he comes back with a decent movie here. The screenplay is by Claudius Pläging, not the most experienced writer, to be fair, but then again he "only" had to adapt the story here from the French original as it is all based on a French 2012 movie that made quite a few waves. But we shall talk about that one on another occasion. This one here includes a cast where German film audiences will immediately recognize all the male actors, the females maybe not so much. But Herbst, who is probably the MVP here, should also be known to people now who aren't great Stromberg fans like myself. Also there is a great deal of bait here to his character too, especially in the first half. This is also when the film was at its best, when it tells the story of a man who comes to visit his sister, her husband and her best friend to tell everybody that the first name of his unborn child shall be the same like one of the greatest war criminals in the history of mankind. Is it okay to name your kid like that? And if not, then why nobody objects to Josef for example or many other names. There are some interesting points to discuss here honestly. Unfortunately, in the second half when we find out it was just a bluff, and everybody finds out right afterward too, the movie loses itself a bit in arguments between the individual characters about wine bottles that aren't as expensive as they seem (did not fit Herbst's character in my opinion), dog killing rituals and a bizarre relationship between one character and the mother of other characters that to me really only felt like included for entertainment purposes. So i think they could have done better in that department for sure. And somehow, everything is fine in the end again, a common problem in German movies that (seemingly) happy endings feel extremely rushed and not very authentic. I must say I have not seen the French original, so I'd be curious how they handled it there, but everything that happens in the second half makes the film's name also a bit off the mark as the film moves away so much from it and apart from an occasional fun reference about "little A.", the story is gone. Then again that is fine as this joke alone could not have made for a full feature film. I still liked how they occasionally talked about the spelling with "f" or "ph" and this was clearly a reference to the Frennch movie. Besides, this film we have here clearly works well as a stage play too. i think that is what it actually was, so i wouldn't be surprised to see it on German stages in the coming years as well like it is happening with other recent films too like "Willkommen bei den Hartmanns" (don't watch that one, it sucks). If it turns out well-known enough that is. we will see about it. All in all, I think this movie here is worth checking out. The actors all do a solid job (Fitz has occasional weaknesses to stay on par with Herbst in the first half), the script isn't too bad and overall it is one of the better, but not best German movies of 2018. Not a must-see by any means, but if you like some of the cast, then go for it. Germany does not always do too well in terms of comedies, but here they do, which certainly has to do with the fact that it is not an original work, but comes from another country. I give the film a thumbs-up, even if it may not be the worst choice to switch off after the revelation about the real name of the unborn child. The table scene where it is revealed feels a bit cringey too how it is really about nothing but the comedy there.