Another By-The-Numbers Rom-Com
A boy and a girl from polar opposite backgrounds come together and find love. It’s one of the oldest rom-com tropes in the book and yet every year there’s a whole wave of titles that rehash this idea and put a slightly different spin on it. Some do work really well, while others most definitely don’t. Step forward German Netflix film Isi & Ossi that takes this cliched idea, intertwines two big dreams together to produce an indifferent, painting by numbers picture that does little to stand out from so many others out there.
After a quirky opening with some decent visuals, we’re introduced to our two central characters. Isi is a girl with big dreams of entering the culinary trade but her protective Father, paying off teachers and shielding her from the world, has become way too oppressive for her liking so she strikes out and starts to make it on her own, including working at a run-down fast food joint. By contrast, Ossi has big dreams to become a boxer but comes from a difficult family life, one that sees his sponsor pull out from supporting him and no money to see his dreams come true.
This ultimately forms the background as these two characters happen upon one another and strike a deal – Isi will cough up the funds Ossi needs to see his boxing career take off, if he can help convince her parents to send her to culinary school. Inevitably, the two start to fall for one another with multiple road blocks and obstacles standing in their way, all of which leading up to the triumphant finale.
In true rom-com fashion, what you see is what you get and Isi & Ossi makes no claims otherwise. The film is a light, fluffy piece of entertainment that does little to keep any sort of lasting appeal going. The jokes don’t always land, the romance is admittedly natural but a little too obvious and there’s not much in the way of originality here.
Of course, there are some stand out moments that don’t make the ride a complete waste. The two lead actors do a great job in their roles and certainly have some natural chemistry, Ossi’s Grandfather rapping is a particularly surprising moment, and stems a whole subplot from this, while the cliched but ever-welcome message about being true to yourself is plain to see. Overall though, there just isn’t anything particularly noteworthy or outstanding about this. It’s not a bad film but it’s certainly not a good one either, it’s another title that drowns in a sea of mediocrity and fails to do anything special in a medium that’s chock full of indifference.