Charlotte “Charlie” Parks (Dasha Nekrasova) is an American poet living in Berlin. Apart from writing poetry and doing readings, she spends her time chain-smoking hand-rolled cigarettes, sleeping with married men and shoplifting expensive clothes. She is the central character of writer/director Jordan Blady’s Softness Of Bodies. She’s also the reason this will be a film a lot of people will have trouble with.
Charlie gets caught shoplifting and fined 800 Euros, which she doesn’t have. She’s also up for a grant that would cover it. But those aren’t her only issues. Her rival Sylvie (Nadine Dubois) is also in the running for the grant. She’s having issues with her married boyfriend Franz (Moritz Vierboom) which only gets worse when his wife figures things out. And her ex, Oliver (Morgan Krantz, Tone-Deaf) is in town. Can she, with some help from her cliché gay roommate Remo (Johannes Frick), hold it all together and win the grant?
Softness Of Bodies is supposed to be a comedy, and the situations could indeed be funny. But the film is stuck with a central character that I just couldn’t bring myself to care about. She’s annoying and obnoxious and not in a funny way. The kind of person that makes everything about herself, no matter what’s going on.
Granted anti-heroes and more recently slackers are a staple of comedy. But they need to have some kind of charm, something appealing enough about them to make a connection. Charlie is lacking anything remotely like that.
The storyline doesn’t help either. Things feel disjointed and there’s a lot of loose ends left hanging. Maybe if Blady had cut out many of these threads and made a 30 minute short the results would have been more bearable. But as it stands Softness Of Bodies is a tale of several unlikable people with the least likable of the bunch front and center.
Softness Of Bodies is available on streaming platforms from Rock Salt Releasing.