An adaptation by director Volker Schlondorff and American novelist Rudy Wurlitzer (Nog, Slow Fade) of Max Frisch’s existential Swiss novel Homo Faber, about a middle-aged engineer (Sam Shepard) in the 1950s who finds himself having an affair with a young woman (Julie Delpy) who may or may not be his daughter; the settings include Latin America, Switzerland, Greece, France, and Italy. It could have used a lot more of Wurlitzer’s humor (he’s very good on airline-hostess protocol) and a lot less of Shepard’s Marlboro Man inexpressiveness, which is indulged at great length and to relatively little purpose. Delpy (Europa Europa) is attractive but not especially resourceful in holding up her end of the screen; Barbara Sukowa does a better job in the smaller part of her mother. With Dieter Kirchlechner and Traci Lind (1991). (JR)

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