Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
The heavyset German lady, her body and soul tightly corseted, her hair sprayed into rocklike permanence, is having a fight with her husband, right there in the Mojave Desert. They are in the middle of some kind of miserable vacation, touring America as a version of hell.
She can take no more. She grabs her suitcase and stalks away from their Mercedes, he drives away into the red, dusty sky, and she walks to a miserable truck stop and asks for a room.
An opening like that makes you stop and think, doesn't it, about how cut-and-dried most Hollywood movies are. There would seem to be no place in today's entertainment industry for movies about fat German ladies and homesick truck stops, and yet "Bagdad Cafe" sets us free from the production line of Hollywood's brain-damaged "high concepts" and walks its own strange and lovely path. There is poetic justice in the fact that this movie, shot in English in America by a German, is one of the biggest box office successes in recent European history.
The German woman is named Jasmin (Marianne Sagebrecht), and she is appalled by the conditions she finds at the Bagdad Cafe. It is simply not being run along clean and efficient German lines.