[Screen It]


(2000) (Josse De Pauw, Eva Van Der Gucht) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Moderate None Heavy None Minor
Mild None None None Mild
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Heavy Minor Mild Mild Minor

Comedy: Hoping for a better life for his teenage daughter, a recently laid off factory worker kidnaps a popular singer demanding that his girl be given a similar shot at stardom in the music business.
Jean Vereecken (JOSSE DE PAUW) is a forty-five-year-old factory worker who, along with his wife, Chantal (GERT PORTAEL), enjoys watching their overweight, seventeen-year-old daughter, Marva (EVA VAN DER GUCHT), compete in various local singing contests, although she never gets high scores. It's not that Marva has a bad voice. It's just that she wants to be a pop sensation like Debbie (THEKLA REUTEN), her country's most popular singer.

Jean believes he can change that and thus sets out to write a hit song for her. The problem, however, is that he can't write music and can only hum his awful sounding ditties into a tape recorder. Things take a turn for the worse, though, when Jean's coworker, Willy Van Outreve (WERNER DE SMEDT), informs him that their factory is closing and that they've lost their jobs.

To top it off, Jean's car breaks down, but he finally gets a break when a friendly and helpful young woman comes to his aid. Suddenly realizing that it's none other than Debbie herself, Jean impulsively decides to drug her with some prescription sleeping pills he's just picked up and take her to a remote house where he can think about the rest of his plan. Called to the scene, Willy is shocked by Jean's actions, but reluctantly agrees to help when Jean says their hostage could be the solution to their problem.

Accordingly, he calls Debbie's manager, Michael Jansen (VIKTOR LOW), and arranges for them to meet where Jean plays him the recording of his humming and gives the amused man a week to put both music and lyrics to the tune. Meanwhile, Debbie puts her charms on Willy, even getting him to retrieve her dog and remove her bindings.

As the hostage situation continues to unfold, however, things begin to play out differently than most would expect as the involved parties bring unexpected demands to the table. Realizing that Jean is nothing but an amateur, Michael agrees to turn Marva into a star as long as he continues to hold Debbie hostage since her songs are now selling better than ever. From that point on, Jean does what he can to make sure that his daughter has a shot at becoming famous and making him proud.

Unless they're fans of someone in the film or of Oscar-nominated foreign language films, it's not very likely.
For some sexuality/nudity.
  • JOSSE DE PAUW plays a laid off factory worker who wants a better life for his daughter. Accordingly, and with the best intentions, he kidnaps Debbie hoping to force her manager to turn his idea for a song into a hit. He uses some profanity and pushes his daughter into succeeding in music.
  • EVA VAN DER GUCHT plays his overweight daughter who aspires to be a singer, but not the kind that her father wants. She ends up in bed with Michael, but we're never quite sure if she has sex with him or not (she claims she doesn't).
  • WERNER DE SMEDT plays Jean's co-worker who reluctantly goes along with his kidnapping scheme but ends up falling for Debbie (and having sex with her).
  • THEKLA REUTEN plays the popular singer that Jean kidnaps and who falls for Willy (and has sex with him).
  • VIKTOR LOW plays Debbie's manager who encourages Jean to continue holding Debbie hostage (since it means her records are selling better) and tries to (or succeeds at) sleeping with Marva as her "initiation" into the music business.
  • GERT PORTAEL plays Marva's mother who's concerned that Jean's pushing her too hard.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy. Several sexual encounters are implied or occur off camera (including that of an older recorder producer and a teenage girl - although we're never sure how far that goes -- as well as one suggesting oral sex and another having the sounds of sexual encounters coming through a wall). Some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue occurs, while we see a bare-breasted woman and brief photos of scantily clad women.

    Profanity (in Flemish with English subtitles) consists of several "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (all played for comedy, but including a man kidnapping a popular star by drugging her with sleeping pills), while some drink and a few smoke. Meanwhile, a father's enthusiasm for his daughter to succeed in singing creates some mild, tense family scenes as he pushes her a bit too hard.

    If you're still concerned about any part of the film or its overall appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what's present and occurs in it.

  • Jean and others drink during Marva's talent performance.
  • Jean and Willy have beer in a bar where others drink.
  • Jean has a beer.
  • People drink during another talent show, including Jean who has a beer.
  • Some men drink beer in a bar.
  • Michael and Marva have what looks like wine with a meal.
  • Chantal and two friends have wine.
  • Some of Jean's friends drink beer.
  • Some people drink champagne.
  • None.
  • Willy's girlfriend has a somewhat unpleasant and standoffish demeanor.
  • Jean and Willy decide not to tell their significant others about losing their jobs at the factory.
  • Although he has good, ultimate intentions and has no plans to harm his hostage (although he occasionally has her bound and gagged), Jean kidnaps Debbie after she acts like a Good Samaritan to him.
  • We then learn that Jean has rented a home in the woods under a false name and he states that he won't be paying for it.
  • Willy reluctantly goes along with Jean's kidnapping scheme.
  • Willy's girlfriend goes off to Madrid for several weeks and apparently has an affair with the man she's traveling with.
  • Michael decides not to let the authorities know about his meetings with Jean as he decides that the kidnapping is good for selling more records.
  • Michael tells Marva that if she does everything he says, she'll be a big star. One of those things apparently is to sleep with him as we see him undressing with her already under the covers (but we don't know for sure if she does or not).
  • None.
  • Handguns: Carried by police as they make their way toward Jean.
  • Phrases (in Flemish with English subtitles): "Bloody hell," "Bastards," "I don't think you're an idiot, stupid," "Balls" (testicles), "What a bitch" (what Debbie says about her neighbor), "Shut up," "Moron," "Piss me off," "Turn your fart into thunder" and "Loser."
  • Jean mixes sleeping pills with some tea that he gives to Debbie to knock her out so that he can kidnap her.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • At least 2 "s" words, 1 slang term for sex ("shag"), 7 hells and 1 damn used as exclamations (in Flemish with English subtitles).
  • The camera moves along Marva's legs in close-up, leading up to a view of what looked like part of her rear end (in her short skirt).
  • Seeing Debbie performing on TV, Marva wonders about how many men the performer had to "shag" to get that big. Her mother then asks if she'd do that and Marva doesn't answer.
  • We briefly see some close-up shots of women in skimpy underwear in a publication (in a modeling/advertising fashion rather than pornography).
  • Willy's girlfriend kisses down his bare chest and then goes under the sheets (presumably doing the same down at a lower part of his body, although we can't see anything).
  • Marva does Madonna's "Material Girl" song during another talent show and wears an exterior, cone-shaped bra/corset. Later, she shows some cleavage.
  • Jean starts to ask Debbie about her way of making it to the top, causing her to chime in, "Sleep with them?" She then adds that she never has and never will.
  • Marva reads some sort of poem about making love, causing her teacher to make a comment about the teen obviously never making love.
  • Debbie tells Willy that her only friend is her dog and that she hasn't "done it" (had sex) in two years. Willy says that he couldn't stand that and Debbie agrees. After he states that he can't untie her, she tells him that they can do it tied up. We later see the two of them under the covers in bed, presumably after sex.
  • Michael tells Marva that if she does everything he says, she'll be a big star. One of those things apparently is to sleep with him as we see him undressing with her already under the covers (and looking nervous). We hear sexual sounds coming from next door, as she tells him that this will be her first time. She then asks if Debbie did this and Michael replies that all of them do. He then pulls off his underwear while under the sheets.
  • We see Debbie standing topless while cutting Willy's hair (both are nude, but we don't see anything beyond her bare breasts due to the positioning of their bodies).
  • We then go back to the motel room and Michael is getting dressed (as we hear more sexual sounds coming from next door) and Marva is worried about her career (making one think they didn't have sex), but he tells her not to be concerned. Later, when Marva returns home, her mother comments on her looking different, so it's hard to tell for sure whether she had sex or not.
  • Marva's mother again is suspicious about what Marva did with Michael, but Marva states that nothing happened.
  • A woman shows cleavage.
  • A person smokes and a bartender has an unlit cigar in his mouth.
  • Marva isn't always happy with the pressure that Jean puts on her to become a performer (and thus not have to work in the factory like him).
  • Desperate people's attempts at achieving their goals through kidnapping others.
  • Parents who push their children too hard in achieving some goal.
  • The music industry and the lives of those who become big stars.
  • Although we don't see the actual incident, Jean spikes some tea with sleeping pills to knock out Debbie and we then see that he's kidnapped her and tied her hands behind her back.

  • Reviewed May 25, 2001 / Posted July 20, 2001

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