The Deflowering of Eva Van End (Michiel ten Horn, 2012): The Netherlands

Reviewed By Kimberly Howard.  Viewed at The Metropolitan 4 Theatre,  Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2013

The Deflowering of Eva Van End is a satirical film that focuses on the awkward “so-called life” of a young girl named Eva. Defined as an outsider, that is a hard label to mark as the final distinction for Eva. For in the beginning scene, the way she is seated at the end of the kitchen table in a lowered, square stool with a mismatched cushion, a finer distinction would be she must be on the wrong movie set. With no emotional muscles being flexed in her facial features, her mouth remains just as tensed throughout the movie as the rest of her family flutters about in each of their individual lives.

The story unfolds where a German exchange student that is flawless in diction and physique shows up to stay with the dysfunctional- unaware in every sense of the word-family. His presence and beliefs bring each family member a chance to see what they haven’t been able to see about their individual lives and he manages to make them believe what is”seemingly” missing in their everyday lives. This offers each member of the family a false sense of fulfillment that is about as temporary as the use of Viagra or an injection of Botox. Since the revelations are known, the family takes their new found discoveries to the answers of a happy life to the extreme and the family as it was in the beginning falls apart.

Eva’s transformation is, however, a different kind since it is one that she chooses. From the self-explanatory title, she goes to Veit, the exchange student, and receives her transformation. Or did she? A motif of the movie are the adhesive stars that are on her ceiling that she constantly stares at wondering when things are going to change. When one falls at the precise moment of transitioning into womanhood, it lands flat on her forehead, and Eva still remains emotionless and lifeless.

It took the presence of an outsider to turn a regular, although dysfunctional, family inside out to bring them to where they always were all along, just didn’t have the wherewithal to know it. Turns out there was a change in Eva since we see her in more colorful clothing and having the assistance of her mom when she buries the pet bunny. That sort of serves as a closure to the visit and events from the exchange student. With comparisons to movies such as Meet the Fockers, Something About Mary and Hitch, this feel good comedy contains a valuable message. Albeit hidden throughout crassness and satire, once the golden nugget of this film is understood, it will leave the viewer thinking or shouting, “Eureka!”

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