Forget rom-coms with beautiful twenty-somethings full of passion and charm. Please give me one with fifty-somethings with plenty of crow’s feet, and when you get to that final romantic cliche, the one running leans over to catch their breath because of decades of virtually zero cardio. That’s what you have in Faraway, a funny and sweet romantic comedy about people of a certain age.
Directed by Vanessa Jopp, we review the 2023 Netflix film Faraway, which does not contain spoilers.
Romantic comedies involving anyone over 40 years old are in short supply nowadays. Sure, you can have your At Midnight with two beautiful, young twenty-somethings trying to balance love and their professional lives. You can even have Yours or Mine with your beautiful movie stars who look younger than their age and can still resume their fashion model careers by walking down a runway this Spring. Give me two fifty-year-olds with distinguished crow’s feet, plenty of grey hair, and some good old-fashioned dad bods trying to find someone to turn the other page on a new chapter in their existential crisis-filled lives.
The German Netflix film Faraway fills that void.
Faraway Review and Plot Summary
Faraway follows a middle-aged woman, Zeynep (Naomi Krauss), who is at a crossroads in life. She is married to Llyas (Adnan Maral), who runs her family’s restaurant. They have a teenage daughter, Fia (Bahar Balci), who is going through her rebellious teenage years and is finding herself. So, like mother like daughter, Zeynep is going through an existential crisis. Or, in layman’s terms, a bit of a midlife crisis. Her mother has died. When she attends the funeral, she panics when giving the eulogy because her husband has not arrived yet with the heartfelt words she wrote. When Zeynep arrives at the restaurant, Llyas is laughing and flirting with a sous chef he hired.
This pushes Zeynep over the edge. Luckily, the day before, she was told her mother had left her a vacation home in Croatia, right on the water. She leaves Munich, and when she arrives late at night, she finds a middle-aged, Judd Apatow-looking fella sleeping beside her. His name is Josip (Goran Bogdan), and he is the former owner of the home, a property that has been in his family for generations. Zeynep’s mother told Josip he could stay there as long as he wanted. At this point, it has been for 15 years until someone shows up, which is today.
Under the direction of The Space Between the Lines director Vanessa Jopp, working with a script from Jane Ainscough, Faraway is a very funny and sweet German farce of people of a certain age. The script leans into the agism component. That’s adorable. Notably the performance of Krauss, who shows a real knack for comedy and is unafraid to act her age. Or, for that matter, show her age.
Whether it’s, as Bogdan’s Josip puts it, strapping on a scuba suit to wear underneath her clothes or thirsting over a man she had no idea was half her age, she is a delight here. Even a scene that involves a classic rom-com trope has a refreshing spin. When she runs after the object of her affection, she needs a moment to catch her breath, showing her age and the lack of cardio she has to incorporate into her life. When was the last time you saw any actress brave enough to show and embrace imperfections? That’s a brave thing for any actress.
Is the 2023 movie Faraway good?
Faraway may have some situations that you might say would never happen. And if they did, it would end the story immediately. However, sometimes we have to embrace some flaws to enjoy a good story.
Just like any relationship.
What did you think of the 2023 Netflix film Faraway? Comment below.
7 thoughts on “Faraway review – a funny and sweet rom-com of a certain age”
I loved it! She wasn’t young and skinny ! I loved her figure the way a woman should aspire to look like ! Finally I have a goal at almost 64 yrs old ! She is beautiful! I loved this movie! Powerful woman going forward in life !
LOVED IT. A heartfelt, funny, never too late coming of age story. The lifestyle and scenes of beautiful Croatia were superb.
Personally I would not classify Faraway as a rom-com. For one thing, at the heart of it was not a romance with someone else. It was the regaining of love for oneself. For the other thing, I found it a much more compelling drama than comedy – although it had its light moments. Similar to the film Shirley Valentine, Faraway portrayed a situation of a mature woman who found herself surrounded by family members who abused rather than loved her. Too often women at this stage of life find themselves in this kind of dilemma after tolerating this abuse for far too long. I personally know some women in this predicament and would hardly portray their situations as rom-coms – but rather as tragedies. The longer they allow these situations to persist the harder it is to turn them around. Some of my favorite takeaways from the film were seeing the protagonist’s transformation from a miserable woman at the beginning to a beautiful woman at the end. I also loved the scene where all the men are fighting and she announces they will have a meal together and then they will all leave. You could tell she had regained her power. The relationship with her daughter was also striking. At the beginning, it was hostile and at the end loving. The love and happiness she had regained for herself had begun to transform members of her family. In the end, the love she shared with her new partner was not as important as the love she had for herself. Perhaps we need a new film category – self-rom – where protagonists are seen falling in love with themselves and manifesting that love with others.
Absolutely loved it. There aren’t many movies out there with stories of later in life love. Gives many of us who have been separated and or divorce a new love story and person to aspire to be like and give hope. 🙂 Loved this coming of age story, and gives me something to look forward to in this next chapters of my own life!
This is about a middle-aged woman, unappreciated by her husband, father and daughter, learning to love herself and transforming her life and making the choices that best serve her., and her alone for once in her life.
James Kosick – I agree with you. : “ The love and happiness she had regained for herself had begun to transform members of her family. In the end, the love she shared with her new partner was not as important as the love she had for herself. ”
Loved it! I think women over 40 will like it best— the tropes will be lost on the young. But was quite charming ( I laughed out loud a few times-a rare thing for me)
Obligatory gay aspect inserted. Disappointing. Also, disappointing ending and as David said “questionable morals.”