France (Grasset), Italy (Feltrinelli), Israel (Keter), Romania (Trei), Spain (Alfaguara)
Two clients, both in their forties, take their seats in a relationship counsellor’s office; the therapist sits facing them. The atmosphere is charged… let the comedy begin!
Joana and Valentin’s relationship has hit rock bottom and the therapist’s feeble attempts to bring them under control are utterly fruitless. The result is a highly entertaining farce as the two brawlers slug it out under the supervision of the hapless counsellor.
Joana seems to know what her husband is going to say before he even gets a chance to open his mouth, and most of the time her torrent of words ensures he doesn’t get a word in edgewise anyway. In return, Valentin punishes his wife with cold and dispassionate ignorance. He takes their grievances as a fait accompli – which provokes Joana even further. But Joana and Valentin aren’t the only ones with difficulties — it seems the therapist has some serious problems of his own.
In Die Wunderübung, Daniel Glattauer proves once again that he is a master at encapsulating the subtle nuances simmering beneath our emotional entanglements.