Zus & Zo

  • 2002
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Romance

Three determined sisters fight their younger brother for possession of a picturesque seaside hotel in this likeable Dutch comedy, which has quite a bit to say about relationships between — and within — the sexes. Frustrated journalist Sonja (Monic Hendrickx) has made a career of penning spicy magazine columns about women's sexual fantasies, but...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Three determined sisters fight their younger brother for possession of a picturesque seaside hotel in this likeable Dutch comedy, which has quite a bit to say about relationships between — and within — the sexes. Frustrated journalist Sonja (Monic Hendrickx) has made a career of penning spicy magazine columns about women's sexual fantasies, but she'd much rather write a serious piece about her often-strained relationships with older sisters, Wanda (Anneke Blok) and Michelle (Sylvia Poorta). Multi-media artist Wanda works with bodily fluids — she's currently collecting semen for an upcoming installation — and dreams about one day owning her own gallery. Thirty-eight year-old Michelle, the eldest, is a charity minded housewife who's filled her home with an assortment of foster children and refugees from around the world. Despite their disparate life goals, the sisters are united in a common cause when they get the shocking news that their baby brother, Nino (Jacob Derwig), is getting married. They're not shocked just because they all know Nino is thoroughly gay, but because their late father's will clearly stipulates that Nino will become the sole owner of the Paraiso, the family-owned hotel on the coast of Portugal, if and when he gets over this silly gay nonsense and gets properly married. The sisters assume Nino's marriage to the beautiful Bo (Halina Reijn) is a sham and a scam, and are determined to sabotage the nuptials and save their beloved hotel. Their own love lives, meanwhile, are falling apart around them. Wanda is having an impulsive affair with Sonja's husband, Hugo (Theu Boermans), who suspects he has V.D., while Sonja has her eye on Jan (Jaap Spijkers), the doctor who's married to Michelle but has loved Sonja for ages. Nino, meanwhile, pines secretly for his ex-boyfriend Felix (Pieter Embrechts), a sexy and successful celebrity chef with his own TV show and a permanent place in his heart for the groom to be. Sharply written and directed by Paula van der Oest and superbly acted by its three leading ladies — Hendrickx, Blok and Poorta actually make these selfish harridans likeable — this winning comedy joyfully embraces every possible permutation of love; cupid, it turns out, is indeed blind, and doesn't care much about gender either. The film, the Netherlands' official submission for the 2002 Academy Awards, is already slated for a big-screen Hollywood remake, but the fortuitous combination of actors, direction and screenplay leaves little, if any, room for improvement.

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Three determined sisters fight their younger brother for possession of a picturesque seaside hotel in this likeable Dutch comedy, which has quite a bit to say about relationships between — and within — the sexes. Frustrated journalist Sonja (Moni… (more)

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