Berlin-based Turkish actor Alper is looking for love and that elusive big break that will finally launch his movie career. However, with movie producers only able to see him as either a gangster, a terrorist or worse, his movie career looks as coffin-shaped as his luck with the ladies.

Increasingly concerned that his cultural heritage is the thing that’s holding him back, Alper decides to reinvent himself as Italian actor Alberto Giandolce. But how long can he keep playing the role of a lifetime, when his real life isn’t his?

... a real-life, no-budget, romantic-comedy that hits it big with its cross-cultural appeal and lampooning of stereotypes.

Hollywoodtürke is a real-life, no-budget, romantic-comedy that hits it big with its cross-cultural appeal and lampooning of stereotypes. As the movie starts, the humour is deliberately broad and designed to bait prejudices. Racism, sexism, homophobia and many others are all in debut director/writer/star Murat Ünal’s crosshairs and the longer Hollywoodtürke runs, the more they are pulled into serious focus.

That said, in keeping with almost all romantic comedies, the characters surrounding Ünal’s hapless Alper are jagged, dysfunctional jigsaw pieces that will all fit together by the movie’s close. Whether it’s just a walk-on role or one with more legs on it, it’s clear from the performances on screen that everyone is committed to hitting the movie’s comedic ground running.

Flirting with that other enshrined rom-com law that everyone’s gets what they want (or at least what they deserve if they’re the ones standing in the way of love), Hollywoodtürke‘s plot progression is reasonably predictable. However, given the conventions of the genre and the expectation of the audience that’s pretty much the point. Romantic comedies are all about how a love story or a dream unfolds rather than the ultimate pay-off.

Set in Berlin, whose city boasts the largest Turkish population outside Turkey itself, it’s worth pointing out that Hollywoodtürke does a good job in delivering an accessible fantasy for all audiences. Whether it’s mocking Berlin’s unscrupulous landlords or the city’s airport that never seems to get finished, many of these insider jokes will land even without local knowledge.

So, if you don’t what a halal-pig is (that’d be one that willingly converts to Islam before slaughter) or how offensive a chainsaw can be in your father’s hands, then I’d definitely suggest you seek out Hollywoodtürke. 

See it now on Amazon Prime.