Books by Doris Dörrie

Released: July 10, 2001

"With his detached, eminently humane, honest, and bitingly funny narration, Fred makes an unerringly entertaining companion—and he even finds wisdom in Buddhist teachings, despite his best efforts to remain crass and ironic."
Vibrant, amusing tale from film director/author Dörrie (What Do You Want From Me?, 1991, etc.) limns a richly entertaining midlife crisis, which takes a faithless husband to a Buddhist retreat in France. Read full book review >
Released: May 23, 1991

The celebrated young German filmmaker (Men) offers slim second collection of 16 stories (Love, Pain and the Whole Damn Thing, 1989)sardonic glimpses of life in New York, Germany, and California. In the title story, a German woman, a receptionist who measures out her drab little life in coffee spoons, has a fantasy about a tall, dark stranger she often passes during her evening walk. She imagines him breaking into her apartment, terrifying her with his strangely confident behavior (he drinks all the milk). Yet, she reflects that the silence in her pretty little apartment is worse than the threat he represents. In contract, ``Lies'' is almost like a parable. A young photographer teaching a course must confront a hideously deformed giant of a mana monster with a wonderful sweetness about him. In an epiphany about confronting personal fear, she suddenly sees that he has beautiful shell-shaped ears. In ``Hollywood,'' the most predictable story here, all the characters are tan and beautiful and monstrously banal within. True to the image of a young wannabe producer who will do anything to succeed, a young shark- in-training falls into a sordid mÇnage Ö trois at a cocktail partyand charges admission. In ``Los Angeles,'' one of the collection's most overtly pathetic stories, a young German woman flies to L.A. to surprise her vacation lover, only to be told that he's too busy to see her. In a dozen other pieces, Dorrie tracks lonely modern waifs, many of them German. Adrift in a guilt-darkened Germany or a cruel and vapid California, they maintain a deadpan dignity and idealism that lift these slight tales a notch above standard fare. Warmhearted, well-detailed little stories that will appeal to the urban contemporary set. Read full book review >

Acclaimed young German filmmaker Dorrie, best known here for Men, makes her literary debut with four stories fashioned from four of her movies. Each of Dorrie's stories works like a little movie: a character or a dire circumstance forces her quirky characters to live out a strange and unexpected "what if." In "Straight to the Heart," a depressed and isolated young student decides to dye her hair blue and play her saxophone on the street. She captures the attention of an austere dentist, who offers her a contract to brighten his life with her interesting bohemian ways. The young woman is driven crazy by their austere, uncommitted life in his country house, however, so she stages a phony pregnancy that has a literally electrifying ending. The story "Men" will be familiar to many American moviegoers: a 40-ish, pompous advertising executive loses his wife to an aging hippie, so he seeks his revenge by moving in with the laid-back chap and turning him into a model bourgeois just like himself. "Money" offers a hilarious, heart-wrenching scenario: a housewife turns to bank-robbery when she learns that her lackluster husband has lost his job in a toy factory. Finally, in the haunting "Paradise," a scientist meets his wife's old school chum, a countrified idiot savant who reads Flaubert. She sparks passion in both spouses, and teaches the husband that love is the ultimate projection. Lean, exuberant little scenarios about the demented side of middle-class life, likely to appeal to hip, young readers. Read full book review >