**** (Four stars)
We all have that friend who takes things too far. Maybe he’s a pothead, an alkie or just an attention hog—in any case, at the end of the night, it’s gonna be him on Houston Street, banging on trash cans, screaming at buses and whipping his dick out to perform his impression of a Water Wiggle. Seven Days Sunday is a German indie from first-time director Niels Laupert about that guy and his murderous potential. Teenagers Tommek (Martin Kiefer, playing the whack job) and Adam (Ludwig Trepte, as his alter-boy pal) hang around all day in their decrepit apartment complex, drinking, smoking and not making out with girls. But things get bloody fast.
Set in 1996 and based on a true story, Sunday feels like a product of that era, when Man Bites Dog and other Reservoir Dog–y ultraviolence was in vogue. But there’s little filmic pretension here—the dialogue is naturalistic, the setting gritty and the performances real. (Trepte in particular comes across like Shia LaBeouf with none of the smarm.) What happens, happens with little insight—Laupert isn’t into psychology. The result is a decent yet frustrating flick that plays like a Metro desk crime story from Queens or Newark: "two kids rob 100-year-old woman" or "a staged murder with fake mustaches." What's eating at these disaffected youth? Who knows? Maybe the outbursts by my drunk-ass friend José aren’t so bad after all.—Michael Freidson, editor-in-chief
[This is a TONY staff review, written for the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. It is not considered an official review and should not be read as such. Please think of it as a casual impression from a movie-loving friend.]