Men like us

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Original title Men like us
Men like us.jpg
Country of production Germany
original language German
Publishing year 2004
length 102 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Sherry Hormann
script Benedikt Gollhardt
production Kirsten Hager
Eric Moss
Andreas Schneppe
music Martin Todsharow
camera Hanno Lentz
cut Eva Schnare

Men like us is a film comedy by the German-American director Sherry Hormann from 2004. The film, based on a script by Benedikt Gollhardt and starring Maximilian Brückner , opened in German cinemas on October 7, 2004 and is about the goalkeeper Ecki, who puts together a gay soccer team to play against his former team that replaced him after he came out . Other roles include Dietmar Bär , Saskia Vester , Lisa Maria Potthoff , David Rott , Rolf Zacher , Mariele Millowitsch and Christian Berkel .

The project, produced by Hager Moss Film , GFP Medienfonds and the RTL Group , was filmed between July and September 2003 primarily in the Ruhr area and the Münsterland . With over 173,000 viewers in Germany, the comedy was among the top 30 most successful German films of the 2004 cinema year. The following year was Guys and under the title Guys and Balls also published internationally and particularly in the US space with several LGBT - Festival -Prices awards, including the Audience Award in the category "Outstanding Narrative Feature" at the Outfest of 2005.


Ecki lives with his parents Renate and Gerd, who run a bakery, in Boldrup, a small village in the Münsterland . He has been an avid footballer since childhood and has been in the goal of the acclaimed local club FC Boldrup ever since.

In a crucial championship game, he does not keep a penalty, which means that promotion to the district league fails. Fans and players are disappointed, but the party continues afterwards. At the party, some teammates finally watch how the drunk Ecki kisses his teammate Tobias on the mouth. The situation escalates and Ecki feels compelled to come out a little involuntarily as gay to his parents - much to the incomprehension of his father. The next day he was thrown out of the team with the words "Football is war and only men go to war". Out of defiance to defend his honor as a footballer and to show that homosexuals can also play football, Ecki announces a rematch with a purely gay football team within four weeks , although he does not yet have a team available.

So he goes to Dortmund to find members for his team with the help of his sister Susanne who lives there. He's only met with incomprehension from the fans of his favorite club, Borussia Dortmund , but Ecki gradually succeeds in recruiting more homosexuals for his team in places such as a kebab stand and the Stahlrohr leather bar . The two Brazilians Ronaldo and Ronaldinho and the actually heterosexual bookseller Klaus, who is allowed to participate incognito, are among the greatest hopes . In Karl, the former left wing of BVB, who ended his football career after a similar mishap as Ecki had happened to him, the troops initially found a cynical skeptic, who then declared himself a coach. In the meantime, Ecki can win the heart of Sven, who is doing community service , with whom he finally starts a relationship.

After an unexpected encounter between the "slammers" and FC Boldrup, everyone wants to skip the tournament. Ultimately, however, they are convinced that they will play the game. Things don't look good for Ecki's team at the beginning of the game, but eventually they win by using the Boldruper's homophobia against them.



Author Benedikt Gollhardt developed the idea for the film after the gay and lesbian soccer world championship was held in Cologne in autumn 2000 . Through the media coverage , he “quickly realized how controversial the subject of ' gays and football ' still is” “and how much potential it has for a comedy”. Gollhardt presented the first version of the script to the producers Kirsten Hager and Andreas Schneppe, who saw “the combination of football and being gay [as] an interesting basic tension with great potential”. Together, the trio developed the material further in the following two years, a time that Gollhardt later described as "exhausting" - also because rumors repeatedly surfaced within the industry that films with a similar topic were in production.

After completing the script , Hager and Moss contacted Sherry Hormann , whose first feature film Leise Schatten Hager had produced in 1991. Hormann was initially surprised about the offer due to her lack of football knowledge, but finally accepted. In the run-up to the shooting, the director, who according to her own statements originally had “only a vague idea” of professional football and homosexuality , researched both in the ball game and in the Cologne gay scene . Among other things, the operator of a Cologne darkroom in male disguise granted her access to his club after Hormann was able to inspire him for her project. To test the later staging of the football sequences on the field, Hormann designed a miniature playing field together with the cameraman Hanno Lentz , on which she worked on the resolution using cardboard figures .


Hormann chose the "run down" Post Stadium on Lievelingsweg in Bonn as the backdrop .

The core shooting of the film took place after a joint table reading from July 1 to August 28, 2003 in Münsterland , Cologne , Dortmund and Bonn , including in the former Westfalenstadion and the old Poststadion on Bonn's Lievelingsweg. In order to match the “sporting standard” in football, the cast had to complete four training camps lasting several days prior to the production, in which the cast primarily practiced building stamina , feeling for the ball and tactics .

The heat wave in the first half of August of the year made later, especially in the scenes on the clay court for severe conditions during shooting, further comprising up to 500 extras were present. At times it was up to 54 ° C on the square. Actor Charly Huebner also broke his foot ten days after shooting began. Although the production insurance recommended that Hübner's role of Horst be changed and that scenes that had already been filmed be re-shot, it was ultimately decided against a new cast. In return, Gollhardt was forced to rewrite certain scenes in the film. This ultimately led to four additional days of shooting in September of that year.

The post-production was again able to be completed in February of 2004. Originally the project was supposed to be titled Lattenknaller . The evaluation of test screenings in the run-up to the release, however, showed that the ambiguous title would "rather deter viewers from watching the film in the cinema," which is why the official distributor, the former Buena Vista International , decided to rename the film at short notice. The budget for the film was around four million euros. The film was financed by Hager Moss Film , GFP Medienfonds and RTL . In addition, the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW funded the distribution with 50,000 euros, making it the second film with a coming-out theme that hit cinemas within a month after Marco Kreuzpaintner's summer storm . The FilmFernsehFonds Bayern contributed 205,000 euros and the film funding agency a total of 400,000 euros to the film.


Actor Maximilian Brückner made his debut with men like us in his first leading role.

Casting agent Nessie Nesslauer was primarily responsible for casting the roles . She auditioned over 100 young actors for the role of Ecki. Ultimately , the choice fell on young actor Maximilian Brückner , who at the time of his audition had only been in front of the camera in various theater productions and a supporting role for a TV production and made his screen debut with men like us - against the will of his drama school . Sherry Hormann called Brückner a "jewel" and named among other things his innocent, "unfashionable" face as the reason for his commitment. Brückner himself mentioned Hormann's stereotypical cast as an incentive for his commitment. He started filming completely unprepared, only taking goalkeeping training beforehand .

In the side cast, Hormann, according to his own statements, received several rejections from actors "who could not imagine playing a homosexual". In the role of Eckis Schwarm Sven, David Rott was cast in his second film role. Above all, the actor found the love story about Ecki and Sven to be a special attraction of his role. Rolf Zacher already knew Hormann from studying at the University of Television and Film in Munich . The two met again for the first time in years at the casting. Mariele Millowitsch welcomed the possibility of being able to accept a character that was far from her other role offers. She had to learn how to drive a bus to film men like us . Christian Berkel , whose cast Hormann described as a "stroke of luck", agreed to take on the role of Rudolf one day after receiving the script. Saskia Vester worked with Hormann for the second time after Women Are Was Was Wonderful (1993).


The composer Martin Todsharow was responsible for the background music for the film , who had already supported Hormann in the television productions My daughter is not a murderer (2002) and When Christmas comes true (2003). When selecting the soundtrack , Todsharow put the stylistic focus primarily on “handmade music. Quirky, weird, but very masculine and rocky ”. The music should sound “sexy”, but “against the cheeky cliché” and form the powerful framework for an “offensive soundtrack”, inspired by rock of the 1970s . Universal Music finally offered him a selection of songs by bands hitherto largely unknown in Europe, most of which came from the United States , including Rooney and Dashboard Confessional .



Rochus Wolff from described the film as “a bit lengthy in places” but “very amusing” comedy: “Although men like us exhibit supposedly gay idiosyncrasies for amusement, it still noticeably sympathizes with its protagonists and, not least, makes the homophobia, that was put into the dialogues of the people of Boldrup, ridiculous. But director Sherry Hormann couldn't quite decide whether she should take the gays very seriously or exhibit them as jokes. As a coming-out story, the film cannot convince, but - apart from Dietmar Bär as Ecki's father - the doubts and problems associated with it are always only too much asserted, not shown [...] But we have it to do with a comedy, and as such, men like us is a thoroughly entertaining film. "

"Although not a single cliché is left out, not only the ball is round here, but also the film, which offers a wide range of moods and switches back and forth between humor in the bottom drawer and human drama without feeling too attacked." , wrote Claudia Holz of film starts , who rated the film with two and a half stars out of five. “Those who [...] are still not put off by the often coarse humor can trust themselves, because, contrary to all [sic!] Expectations, 'men like us' is not a superfluous German comedy to snuff out loudly and is good at it Middle field of a cultivated evening entertainment. "

Dirk Jung from the editorial team Dirk Jung summed up: “The comedy by Sherry Hormann ('Irren is male') lovingly makes use of clichés about which gays and straight people, men and women, adults and children and football fans as well as those not interested in football can laugh. The group at whose expense it is allowed to have fun varies in the film depending on the situation. ”On the website of Borussia Dortmund , this film was advertised with a raffle:“ A fast-paced feel-good movie full of comic situations and dialog jokes in which with age-old clichés are juggled disrespectfully and humorously ”.


After a preview in the Citydome Rosenheim on September 8, 2004, the film celebrated its world premiere on September 27, 2004 in the Cinedom in Cologne . Men like us were shown in German cinemas on October 7, 2004. In Switzerland it was officially released in theaters on October 14th, and in Austrian cinemas the film started again on November 11th, 2004. In Germany, the comedy attracted around 74,000 viewers to the cinemas on the first screening weekend and was thus able to place itself directly at number 8 on the cinema charts. In total, more than 173,000 visitors saw the film with total box office earnings of around 922,000 euros. Men like us ranks 29th among the most successful German productions of 2004. The film premiered on television on August 18, 2008 under its original title Lattenknaller - Men like us on the private broadcaster RTL Free TV . On average, 3.22 million people saw the production with a market share of 11.7 percent. Around 19.0 percent were booked in the advertising-relevant target group.


  • Audience Award of the Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2006 in the category Best Feature Film (3rd place)
  • Audience Award at the Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2005 in Philadelphia for Best Feature
  • Audience Award of the Milano Festival Internazionale di Cinema Gaylesbico 2006 in the category Best Film
  • Audience Award at Outfest 2005 in Los Angeles in the Outstanding Narrative Feature category
  • Jury Award of the Lesbian & Gay Festival Brussels 2005 in the category Best Foreign Language Film
  • Le Prix du public of the Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2005 in Long Island in the category Meilleur Long Gay

Actor Maximilian Brückner was also in the pre-selection of the German Film Award as Best Actor named.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Buena Vista International (Germany)> Men like us . In: film portal . Retrieved November 24, 2011.
  2. Age rating for men like us . Youth Media Commission .
  3. a b Interview with Benedikt Gollhardt . In: DigitalVD . Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  4. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Men like us (PDF; 659 kB) Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  5. a b c d Interview with Sherry Hormann . In: DigitalVD . Archived from the original on March 13, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  6. a b Rolf Kleinfeld: The Post Stadium is sold: Sports club now free of debt . In: General-Anzeiger . July 3, 2003. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  7. a b Men like us, Germany 2003/2004, feature film . In: film portal . German Film Institute . Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  8. a b c ( Memento from July 10, 2012 on WebCite ): Dirk Jung: Men like us - everyone gives their best piece , October 8, 2004
  9. Hager-Moss and Hormann shoot "Lattenknaller" in NRW . In: Blickpunkt: Film . Mediabiz. August 5, 2003. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  10. Johannes Bonke: Maximilian Brückner (25), a child of fortune, about stubbly male kisses, career accidents . April 13, 2011. Archived from the original on February 7, 2008. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  11. a b Men's Hearts - DVD Making-Of . Men like us DVD . Retrieved November 26, 2011.
  12. a b Dennis Klein: Men like us: The interview on the film . October 7, 2004. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  13. Hermann J. Huber: I found it nice with a man (PDF; 288 kB) In: Adam . Archived from the original on October 26, 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2011.
  14. ^ Rochus Wolff: Men like us (criticism) . Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  15. Claudia Holz: Men like us> Film starts criticism . In: film starts . Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  16. a b Men like us> weekend charts> Germany . In: film portal . Retrieved November 24, 2011.
  17. Film hit list: Annual list (German) 2004 . In: Filmförderungsanstalt . Retrieved November 24, 2011.
  18. Manuel Weis: RTL hits the bull's eye with “Lattenknaller” . August 19, 2008. Retrieved November 26, 2011.
  19. a b c d e f Men like us, movie 2003/2004 . Archived from the original on February 12, 2013. Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved November 26, 2011. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  20. ^ The German Film Prize 2005: The Candidates . In: German Film Academy . Retrieved on November 26, 2011.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /