«The space between the lines»: A romance by email

The space between the lines is a German romantic drama directed by Vanessa Jopp (Engel + Joe, Forget America) and written by Jane Ainscough, which adapts the novel upwind of the north of Daniel Glattauer. It proposes how an e-mail, sent to the wrong address, can be the trigger for starting a relationship at a distance that becomes essential for two strangers.

It stars Nora Tschirner (A Rabbit Without Ears, Bon Appétit), Alexander Fehling (The Conspiracy of Silence, Hope Coast), Ulrich Thomsen ( Face to Face, The Commune), Ella Rumpf ( Freud, Raw), Claudia Eisinger, Lisa Tomaschewsky, Moritz Führmann and Eleonore Weisgerber. The film stream was released in Spain through the German Film Festival on Filmin’s VOD platform, on June 5, 2020.


Based on a famous bestseller and sponsored by the producers of ” Toni Erdmann “, this epistolary cyber romance plays in the same league of films as ” You Have an E-mail ” by Nora Ephron.

Emmi would like to unsubscribe to “Like” magazine by email. But, due to a typographical error, their messages arrive in Leo Leike’s inbox. When Emmi repeatedly sends emails to the wrong address, Leo decides to report his error. This marks the beginning of an extraordinary email exchange that can only take place between two strangers. Treading the fine line between complete strangeness and uncompromising intimacy, the two will soon be sharing their secrets and innermost longings, until they need to face the inevitable question: Will their sentiments, virtually sent and received, survive the test of a real life encounter? ( Filmin )

An old-fashioned movie

Austrian writer Daniel Glattauer achieved great public success with the love story between Emmi Rothner and Leo Leike. They are the characters that star in two of his novels, Against the North Wind (2006) and Every Seven Waves (2009). The German film The Space Between the Lines adapts that story for the cinema, but it comes too late. Fourteen years have passed since that first book was published and technology has advanced very fast, as well as the way we communicate and relate.

The constant exchange of emails as the axis of a growing sentimental relationship at a distance, was already raised by Nora Ephron in 1998 with You have an e-mail. 22 years ago from that movie. I suppose if Glattauer had written his novel today, it would have changed the way the couple communicated, or at least expanded the spectrum with other applications, social networks or messaging services.

The film is absolutely out of date, the constant feeling we have while watching it is that it is out of fashion. It is something that reduces credibility when approaching the relationship of that virtual couple. Lack of emotion and empathy.

Love and new technologies

The space between the lines has a light and undemanding narrative rhythm that makes the movie look smooth. Anyway, spending more than two hours to tell this simple and simplistic love story is obviously excessive. This leads him to fall into unnecessary repetitions and scenes that lead to nothing, with the sole intention of enhancing uncertainty due to the inevitable physical encounter between virtual lovers.

The only real point of interest that the film has is its good distribution. The actors try to give psychological depth to characters that lack it. There is no room for reflection, criticism or analysis about how new technologies affect our way of relating, about what their advantages and disadvantages are. Everything is flat and predictable. The space between the lines is limited to posing a sweetened love story, telefilm and almost without edges (just the moment when her husband finds out what is happening).

Conclusion of ‘The space between the lines’

The space between the lines is a very light and inconsistent romantic drama. It is directed by Vanessa Jopp with a script by Jane Ainscough. Adapta distance romance narrated in successful novels Against the north wind and every wave seven of  Daniel Glattauer. It is an old-fashioned, rose-tinted film that makes itself visible just as easily as sending a spam email to the recycle bin.

In its inflated 122 minutes, only a good cast stands out led by Nora Tschirner, Alexander Fehling, Ulrich Thomsen and Ella Rumpf. Four interpreters who strive to delve into characters drawn schematically and dispassionately. Film only recommended for heavy romantics.

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