A corporate consultant has to deal with the prankish behaviour of her father in Toni Erdmann. Winfried (Peter Simonischek) is a retired piano teacher in Germany, who delights in playing pranks on people. However, he has a bit of a distant relationship with his daughter Ines (Sandra Hüller), who is a high-ranking management consultant in Bucharest. Winfried spontaneously makes the decision to visit Ines in Bucharest and under the clownish alterego of “Toni Erdmann” ends up inserting himself into Ines’ important business decisions.
Toni Erdmann is a dramedy about a father/daughter relationship that is rocky at best. Ines has very little patience for her father’s buffoonery, especially as some important business decisions to make involving an outsourcing deal. However, it turns out that sometime life is a little better if you don’t forget the humour of it all.
At a 162 minute running time, Toni Erdmann is in no rush to develop the love/hate relationship Ines has with her father. The film’s long running time is probably the biggest detriment to Toni Erdmann, since it can probably be argued that the most entertaining moments in the film don’t arrive until the final 45 minutes. Much of Toni Erdmann is spent by balancing the dramatic story with some pretty insane comedy. Some of the standout moments of the film include a showstopping Whitney Houston number sung by Ines and one of the most insane birthday parties seen on screen, full of gratuitous nudity and a giant hairy monster.
Overall, Toni Erdmann is a quite enjoyable film, fully of zany comedy and heart-tugging drama.