BERLINMarch 13, 2023PRLog — We’ve all heard the saying, “comedy never travels”. If that’s true, we can only imagine what’s said about German comedy. Faraway, however, appears to be the exception – with the language of love and travel that seems to have breached all others. Under Vanessa Jopp’s direction, Faraway – a Netflix Original multilingual Rom-Com – is Netflix’s #2 film worldwide: A remarkable feat for a German-rooted comedy that shouldn’t really “travel”.

That said, there is a vibrant and unique comedic landscape in Germany which deserves to be celebrated. No joke. Last year saw Germany make an impactful entry into the 94th Academy Awards with the comedy, Ich bin dein Mensch (I’m Your Man). And then there was 2016’s Toni Erdmann being met with widespread critical acclaim for its wit and social commentary (which Jack Nicholson once circled to star in its remake).

For many, watching characters navigate places of paradise means living vicariously through them – experiencing escapism without departing the sofa. Maybe that’s it – after years in a pandemic, ongoing geopolitical and natural earthquakes — audiences just want to feel good. And escape. If you allow yourself to be whisked away to Croatia and forget about the world’s problems – could that work? “Without a shadow of a doubt, the reason that people tune into rom-coms more during periods of crisis and stress is because of the distraction that these genres offer,” Emma Kenny, a UK-based TV psychologist, says.

Eat, Pray, Love is the Rom-Com travel classic – chronicling Julia Roberts as Liz Gilbert as she embarks on a journey to find balance in her life following a difficult divorce. Robert’s more recent release, Ticket to Paradise, is also a romanticised ode to travel, grossing more than $172.1MM – making it the biggest Rom-Com to feature two over-50 leads since 2009’s It’s Complicated. Which begs the question whether an escapist experience as Faraway would have been better served in a cinema setting?

We’re now also in a world where older actresses are becoming unafraid of exploring their onscreen sexuality – exemplified by Emma Thompson in Good Luck to you, Leo Grande, and Kate Winslet in Mare of Easttown (who took a stand to ensure her ‘visible belly’ during a sex scene was not edited out). Now we find Faraway’s Zeynap (Naomi Krauss) fearlessly embracing her age, which, in a very honest portrayal, might also serve as an ingredient in a sexy-secret-sauce to revitalise a well-trodden Rom-Com formula.

A wager fulfilled by Netflix dubbing Faraway for global audiences, Rom-Coms never fail to engage audiences – despite their language. And when combined with the romantic lure of travel, they become even more captivating. Love is, after all, a universal language, and there is just something spellbinding about a romance that unfolds in a destination faraway.

Who knows, maybe we’ll be seeing a remake with Roberts in the future.