Problemos presents not so much a clash of cultures as a clash of ideologies when Victor (Eric Judor, also the director) and his family opt to visit an idyllic patch of countryside now occupied as a squat by his wife’s former yoga teacher and his band of like-minded, well… hippies. Electronic devices must be surrendered (as one of the group is electro-sensitive, naturally) and everyone is expected to participate in the communal utopia. Things (fortunately) liven up when a pandemic seems to wipe out the rest of the world.
The inhabitants of the community are presented with amused derision, and if there was any doubt about this, it becomes clear when the female members sing a song with lines such as: “I love my period. When it’s brown, I do not frown”. These stereotypical depictions quickly wear out their welcome during a rather flat first act, but are necessary so that the characters’ principles can be tested during the impending potential apocalypse.
The unnamed pandemic is briefly confused with a panda mix (thought to be a chemical feed for pandas) during a cursory glance at Twitter, but it’s when reality dawns that proceedings gain some energy. Many of the jokes land, but some of them fall to earth with a dull, awkward thud.
As they seek to build a new world, complete with renaming the days (the first day of the new calendar is declared to be “Oonday”), the group’s utopia (which would never have stood up to much scrutiny) inevitably crumbles, and while keeping things entertainingly light and frothy (even with jokes about paedophilia), Judor avoids a cop out of a conclusion. Problemos depicts the end of the world as a jolly farce, even though if an audience was to find itself trapped with the members of this particular community, they might wish for some flesh-eating zombies to thin their ranks.
Problemos is released nationwide on 3rd November 2017.
Watch the trailer for Problemos here: