This Dutch comedy drama suffers from its lugubrious, deadpan storytelling style. However bizarre their circumstances, none of the protagonists betrays a flicker of emotion. Van Warmerdam stars as an illiterate farmer, Malherbe is his scheming, formidable wife and Ariane Schluter is the pretty town woman enlisted to teach him to read. As in Kaurismäki films, the characters deal with lust, misfortune and domestic upheaval in phlegmatic fashion. As a study of a ménage à trois in which power is shifting all the time, it is often witty and acute, but Van Warmerdam's low key approach becomes increasingly wearisome - if the characters don't care about what is happening to them, why should we?