Nov 4 2011 8:03am

Bad Poetry and Arranged Marriage: Young Goethe in Love

Who knew Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was so...zany? The guy who wrote Faust, who dabbled in Sturm und Drang, who is considered to be “the supreme genius of German literature?” Goethe, a wacky cut-up?

Apparently his genius came at a price—a broken heart. Young Goethe In Love appears to be in the same vein as Shakespeare in Love, Amadeus, Bright Star, et al; perhaps not completely accurate in terms of history, but depicting a lively portrait of an actual historical figure who might’ve seemed daunting previously (plus the guy playing Goethe is foxy!)

The film opens in limited release today, in California and New York, and hits other cities in future weeks.

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Regina Thorne
1. reginathorn
Well, Megan, as I bleated on at you at great length on Twitter, Goethe's first great success was Die Leiden des jungen Werther (The Sorrows of the Young Werther) which he published when he was twenty-four, and which was highly autobiographical, right down to the name of the beloved girl whom Goethe/Werther did not get to marry (Charlotte). Of course, rather than shoot himself over a book as his hero did, Goethe instead wrote the book that made his name. In fact, I think Werther inspired a generation of romantic suicides in Germany that followed Werther's methodology.

In later life, Goethe became much less of a Romantic and disavowed the novel that had first made him famous, but it was, for a long time, his best-known work. So I think the film might actually be rather accurate (or not as zany as all that, anyway!)
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
@reginathorn: Thanks! I didn't know all this. I want to see the movie even more now!
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