Are gigolo safe

Documentation "The Last Gigolos" : Rent a cavalier

"MS Germany" is insolvent. According to the latest reports, all trips planned for next year have been canceled: the prosaic end of the “dream ship”, for many older television viewers the epitome of luxury travel happiness between the North Sea and the Maldives for decades. Harald Schmidt was also on board a couple of times as a “gentleman host”. The job title sounds like a bad script idea. But exactly so-called one-dancers really did exist on the "MS Deutschland". Two of the sprightly and gallant pensioners who, on behalf of the shipping company, sweetened the time on board for the mostly well-heeled older women traveling alone, accompanies the documentary "The Last Gigolos".

One of the last cruises is from Lisbon to Gambia, and the amusing and cheery senior citizens are in excess on board. So the hosts have their feet full to keep the ladies happy on the floor. The experienced Peter provides the novice Heinz - a former entrepreneur - with valuable practical tips. The considerable selection of ties that he spreads out in his cabin is sorted according to type of use, from summery and youthful to reserved and elegant. Be well-groomed, he says, that is the be-all and end-all of this job.

Real rapprochement is prohibited according to the service contract

It's also about making beautiful eyes, but not about sex. In this way, every lady should be given the feeling that she alone is paying attention. But the courtiers know very well that real rapprochement is forbidden according to the service contract for the rent cavaliers. And they claim that they enjoy this freedom to flirt without consequences. On the other hand, maintaining professional distance is not always easy when you share the dance hall and bar counter for weeks. Also because unlike Harald Schmidt's professional colleague Oskar de Navetta, who is embodied on television, the real hosts are obligatory singles.

So not only some of the female travelers, but also the two “gigolos” are looking for partners, as they confess from the off. The matching tension is forced by a montage that - in addition to many conversations about love and life - increasingly focuses on the relationship between the hosts and two apparently favored dancers.

Stephan Bergmann with too much dancing

That's a shame, because the first long film by director Stephan Bergmann, born in Graz in 1980, with its floating light staging and the beautifully colored Cinemascope images (camera: Janis Mazuch) would not need such romantic “dream ship” developments. The research would have better focused on the practical and economic backgrounds and the organizational environment of the gigolo industry. Even the glimpses of the rest of the crew's work, whether in the galley or when making beds below deck, are only dabbed impressionistically. And towards the end the action shifts more and more inflationarily to the dancing. As if "Let's Dance" hadn't already run seven seasons.

Filmkunst 66, FaF, Hackesche Höfe

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