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Komt een vrouw bij de dokter (2009) Online

Komt een vrouw bij de dokter (2009) Online
Original Title :
Komt een vrouw bij de dokter
Genre :
Movie / Drama / Romance
Year :
Directror :
Reinout Oerlemans
Cast :
Carice van Houten,Barry Atsma,Anna Drijver
Writer :
Mischa Alexander,Gert Embrechts
Budget :
Type :
Time :
1h 53min
Rating :
Komt een vrouw bij de dokter (2009) Online

Handsome Dutchman Stijn is the star of an advertising agency with his buddy Frenk and a hot womanizer. The boys start their own agency and Stijn marries colleague Carmen, who accepts his incurable greed for truly meaningless one-night-stands. Even fatherhood and a move to the boring country go well, until Carmen gets breast cancer. Now their lives are turned upside-down, maybe wrecked.
Credited cast:
Carice van Houten Carice van Houten - Carmen
Barry Atsma Barry Atsma - Stijn
Anna Drijver Anna Drijver - Roos
Jeroen Willems Jeroen Willems - Frenk
Sacha Bulthuis Sacha Bulthuis - Dokter Scheltema
Pierre Bokma Pierre Bokma - Huisarts
Gijs Scholten van Aschat Gijs Scholten van Aschat - Doktor Jonkman
Dirk Zeelenberg Dirk Zeelenberg - Makelaar
David Lucieer David Lucieer - Doktersassistent
Eva Smid Eva Smid - Maud
Anne Marie Michels Anne Marie Michels - Esther
Beppie Melissen Beppie Melissen - Moeder Carmen
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Walid Benmbarek Walid Benmbarek - Ramon
Steef Cuijpers Steef Cuijpers - Taxichauffeur
Wendell Jaspers Wendell Jaspers - Anne

When author Kluun was asked if he wasn't worried that a first-time director would be adapting his book, he simply replied that he was a first-time author when he wrote it.

The story as adapted from the novel by Kluun is partially autobiographical. In fact, some family members of Kluun's deceased wife (played by Carice van Houten in the movie) are present in the wedding celebration scene.

The Dutch title (Komt een vrouw bij de dokter) actually means "a woman goes to the doctor", which is the opening sentence of many jokes.

Directorial debut of Reinout Oerlemans, who, up until that point, was primarily known as an actor in soap operas and producer of TV shows.

In the movie Carmen goes to a grave yard to find herself a "nice place". When she is there she walks past a grave thats says 'Carpe Diem, Judith van der Klundert'. The personage Carmen is based on Judith, who is the wife of author Kluun.

User reviews



I went to see this film without high expectations, with the story well known throughout the country for many years. I was pleasantly surprised with the way they decided to tell the dramatic tale of Stijn, who is married to Carmen (another great role by Carice van Houten) and sees their perfect life collapsing when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. Stijn is unable to handle his new life: going in and out of a hospital, watching his wife throw up all the time, losing her hair because of chemo and finally having her breast amputated. He finds comfort in another woman, Roos and slowly but surely he falls in love with her. At first you might hate Stijn for what he is doing - cheating on his wife while she is dying of cancer. But afterwards you slowly begin to understand how he must feel: he loves Carmen, but he can't stand watching here being destroyed by cancer. For him, Roos is his 'cancerfree zone' where he can feel good again, as life was before the horrible diagnosis. Where the beginning of the film is merely okay it gets better as the story develops. It may seem like a standard Dutch film at first (a lot of nudity) but towards the end it shows its real strength, with Carmen losing her fight against the disease and Stijn deciding he wants to be there for her. The final scenes between Stijn, Carmen and their five year old daughter Luna are simply beautiful. It is in the end that the movie delivers and makes everyone understand the tag line: an ode to love. The whole film is a constant battle between love and cancer and eventually, in some way, love turns out to be the stronger of the two. Definitely a must see!


I liked this movie. No, like most, I didn't like the protagonist, but it was nevertheless interesting to watch how a narcissist would portray himself while betraying the people who care for him with his shallowness. I understand the frustration and remarks by other reviewers regarding the shallow portrayal of the wife and prop-like use of the daughter Luna. But that is exactly how narcissists use and look at people in their world.

Was this a story about love? The narcissist tries to spin it that way, by remembering over-the-top romantic adventures with his wife Carmen: the playful nude pick-nick in the farm fields behind the back garden; the Bora Bora holiday; the Carpe Diem traveling tour once she knows she has little time left to live. However, the protagonist reveals early from the get go what he truly cares about: control; which is exactly what personality disordered people want out of any relation - control. All his actions underline how little he actually knows about love: he wants to get married very rapidly (which sounds romantic but has little to do with loving someone); he cheats whenever he can; he starts an actual affair with another woman because he wants sex with a healthy woman who can adore him, instead of spending his actual time with his wife who's wrapped up in her fight with cancer; his narcissistic rages; his breaking of his promises; and to actually bring his new victim to the funeral of his dead wife.

A narcissist cannot bond or feel real empathy for anyone else but themselves, although they will try to appear as if they do. Hence the over-the-top romantic outings, which actually feel shallow, and the appearance of being empathic when they wish to sell themselves - to Rose, his latest conquest, but also the viewer (or reader). Hence also the possible frustration over the distance that remains between Carmen fighting for her life against cancer and the viewer - the narcissist cannot truly empathize with his wife, and he's the one telling the story after all.

I give the protagonist credit to being brutally honest about the cancer process, his womanizing and affair and not leaving Carmen to die alone... And yet I also feel as if the brutal cancer portrayal is part of his pity play - as if I'm supposed to understand it's no wonder he goes running in between the thighs of a healthy woman; and see what a good guy he is after all, since he could have left Carmen and move on with Rose... That's like saying: he could have been a worse bastard... but it doesn't take away the fact that he's still a bastard. And I suspect his dying wife's words of how grateful she is to have been married to him might even be a narcissistic embellishment - my wife forgave me and loved me, so I'm not so bad after all! I actually did feel empathy with Carmen, exactly because she was portrayed in such a factual way. I felt empathy by myself, exactly because the protagonist lacked it so thoroughly - he was incapable of telling the story with empathy, and that made me feel more for her even.

As for Rose and Stijn living a happy ending? No chance! As if he'll ever stop cheating and not start an affair with another woman as soon as Rose fails to give him his narcissistic supply.


In The Netherlands there was quite a buzz around this movie. Unfortunately, this means that it's virtually impossible to see it without any prejudice. For instance, most people know that it's Reinout Oerlemans' first movie as a director, how the story goes and how it ends. I'd rather seen the film not knowing the above.

Having said that, I think it's a pretty good movie. It has a good story behind it, but it translated pretty well to the big screen. What I really like is how Stijn's business-life looks like, how his doubts are portrayed and how the suffering of the characters is brought to life. I do think that the relationship of Stijn and Carmen is portrayed a little bit superficial, focusing primarily on physical attraction and the business connection. The emotional link between the two could have gotten more attention in the first part. But that's the only major point of critique. In the end, it's not about what attracts Stijn and Carmen emotionally, it's how they both deal with Carmen's cancer and the impact it has on their lives. And that part, I feel, is brought to life pretty well in this movie.


For starters, i did not read the book. So i'm not going to make a comparison.

The movie has a heavy story to tell, as movies about cancer always have. But this one is different. The main character cant coop with the cancer his wife has, and fills his emptiness with the love of another woman. Not that he had such clean hands before, and his wife is aware of that. For some reason he just can't have enough of one woman. The movie will tell you how that develops trough time in the harsh time that is awaiting them.

Directing and script.

I found Reinout Oerlemans did a pretty good job on the directing, but there are a few critical points.I thought the directing got a bit in a loop, using to much of the same angles and effects which can be a bit boring for the viewer. The same thing happens with the script, you come to a point were everything is clear, and it should enter a new chapter in the story. But it seems the director needed to be sure he got the message to the viewer. And that for me is the weakest part of the movie, it spreads the whole thing a bit to long.


The acting is great, Carice does a great, great job (as always). Showing allot of different emotions and giving so much character to here role. Also Barry Atsma does a great job on acting as well, i was not familiar with him but I'm anxious to see more movies with his screenplay. All the supporting roles where fine and well picked. I did not notice my self the be annoyed with any role or what so ever.

A must see film, a directing debute for Reinault Oerlemans who did a great job, but could use a bit more finesse and diversity.

Tissues advised.


Just saw the movie tonight and it leaves me with mixed feelings. It tells of a woman in the prime of her life being destroyed by cancer and the way this disease affects herself as well as her loved ones. The movie shows you some of the harsh realities of a family fighting breast cancer, the horrid struggle of adapting to a life which has become so much different from the life they were used to. The subject matter reminded me somewhat of the 1993 movie 'My Life', but then being a much more raw and honest version that doesn't leave out the ugly parts like chemotherapy scarring, throwing up and changes in ones personality and social life.

The movie is divided in three parts, with the last twenty minutes of the movie being the most to my liking. It begins by (unfortunately very shortly) summarizing the background story to the relationship of Carmen and Stijn, a successful yuppie couple somewhere in their thirties, who live in Amsterdam and have a little daughter together. They both work at an advertising firm and have developed a successful career and loving (though sometimes troubled) marriage. Then cancer kicks in and we see them struggling with the diagnose.

At what might be called "the end of the beginning of Carmen's cancer", the second part of the movie starts. The main storyteller of this movie is not Carmen but her husband Stijn and the second part of the movie turns more to Stijn's adultery than to Carmen's struggle. Instead of showing Stijn and Carmen's difficulties as their way of life together changes, we follow Stijn indulging in an extreme amount of escapism. This is regrettable as the way this is portrayed makes the movie become like a screaming MTV clip with excessive amounts of nudity, loud and mostly unnecessary background music to almost every moment that involves emotion and a roller-coaster type of storytelling that jumps from one highlight to the other without leaving room for contemplation or thorough character development. As a viewer you're interested in what Carmen's cancer does to the family as a whole, how it affects Carmen's relationship to Stijn, their daughter and each other, but this is hardly shown in a way that get's the viewer emotionally involved.

Therefore the second part is were the movie takes a wrong turn in terms of focus and storytelling, as the movie shows us little of these deeper emotional developments. Stijn's adultery should have just been a background to tell us more of their struggle as a family, but instead it's Carmen's fight that seems to become no more than an excuse for showing more and more of Stijn's wild life and infidelity. In my opinion the story of Stijn's adultery could have been told in far less scenes than this movie uses, and still have retained it's touch while also leaving some room for more balanced character development. We see minutes of Stijn having sex with Roos in all possible positions, but only seconds of Stijn supporting Carmen as she suffers an emotional breakdown. Even worse, the way Carmen's sickness affects her role as a mother and Stijn's role as a father to their little daughter is hardly even spoken of. As we as a viewer are meant to believe Stijn's escapism springs forth from his love for his wife and loss of control of the situation, it would have made sense to show more of his feelings for his wife, instead of making them seem like an unwelcome distraction from the story of Stijn's sex life.

I haven't read the book, so I'm not sure if there's any deviations from it, but to me the way the story tends to focus more on the male character Stijn than on his wife Carmen and daughter Luna is a shame, especially since the final part of this movie is so well done. This final part of the movie, which *SPOILER* might be called "the beginning of the end for Carmen" is much slower, focuses more on their bond, their daughter and Stijn's role as a father and husband. It's tragic, intense and very moving. I could only have hoped the whole movie would have been filmed this way, with attention to details and deeper emotions instead of just showing endless scenes of Stijn's sexual frustration and anger.

So I'd like to conclude by saying this is a pretty good movie, with a strong subject matter, that unfortunately loses focus along the way and exposes some serious storytelling issues, for which even a strong ending doesn't make up completely. I therefore have mixed feelings, as I can't help but wonder that because as a viewer you feel sympathy for the touching subject matter, you feel an urge to overlook it's flaws in terms of story and the way it's brought to the screen. A truly good movie however, enhances the subject matter instead of constantly deviating from it. The movie is called "A woman goes to the doctor", *SPOILER* but sadly a better title would have been "A male adulterer doesn't change, no matter what".


No one is perfect, and no married couple can claim to even come close. This movie deals exactly with that - two people fall in love, believe they've met 'the one' and get married. After that they need to deal with life and with each other - his character, her medical condition for example. Each of us deals with problems/issues in his life in a different way. Most of us aren't completely good or bad, we simply try to cope with items life/fate/God lands on us. The same goes with the 2 main characters of the movie. It was extremely hard for me to identify with any one of them due to their character and reactions to the other and everything around, but it was extremely easy to imagine how those things are possible - and who of my friends belong to each type. The movie is realistic, sincere and shines a bright light on what lies beneath almost every marriage. Nothing is static, and the main characters evolve and change while having to cope - with life and each other. I found the movie captivating - definitely it could happen to any of us, and I'm waiting to see it again on Blu-Ray/DVD.


Because I really like and admire Carice van Houten I got a hold of this movie and watched it. I did, I hung in there, although I was tempted at least half a dozen times to hit the 'stop' button. This movie sucks. It really does. There's not one redeeming quality about it. Not one. On the other hand, there are plenty things that condemn it.

For instance, the music. In the history of film making there has never been a movie with a more inconsistent score. One minute it's operatic singing, next minute we get a mind-numbing dance drone. And classic again, then house again. And so on...

The characters. Stijn really is the lowest of the low. Even though his wife knows he will cheat on her on occasion, he still finds it necessary to dish her crap stories of going for a drink with a friend. It makes you loathe him, not hate, because he's not worth it. Just loathe. Carmen is a little better, although, as one other reviewer stated, she withdrew her divorce threat way too easily. Still, having to endure all the hardships of chemo, then radiation, then having her breast amputated, she at least shows some spirit.

The scenes. The story is shot in Amsterdam, one on the most crowded places on the face of the earth. Yet, when Carmen stops the car in the middle of the road in a tunnel, there are no other cars bumping into them, flashing their headlights or honking their horns. One car comes by approximately every minute. In Amsterdam? Yeah, right. Even at 3 a.m. there's heavy traffic. The same thing happens when Stijn is driving drunk and hits a couple of other cars. We see an empty crossing, no cyclists, nobody coming out of their houses to see what all the noise is about. Nada. Weird...

The plot. On a number of occasions, when Carmen needs to go to the hospital, or to the doctor, and Stijn decides to have sex with his 'spare woman', we are led to believe that the little girl, no older than 5, is left alone in the house. At least, when Stijn finally arrives back, I don't see a babysitter, there's no mention of parents staying over or anything like that. There should have been...

The direction. It appears that when you are famous in the Netherlands, you can do just about anything you want, for instance, direct a movie. Lack of experience, even lack of talent, is no obstacle. Maybe Reinout Oerlemans does have talent, but it doesn't show in this film. Like other reviewers stated, there are plenty of nude scenes, most of them totally obsolete, the protagonists hop on planes to various global destinations, again without ever seeming to provide care for their kid. And what bugs me also, is the abundant swearing. It's cancer this and cancer that (in Dutch the term cancer 'kanker', like many other serious diseases, is frequently used as an adjective, very much in the same vein as Americans use f..king). Which brings me to another weak point: the dialogue. It seems nobody can speak proper Dutch anymore. Carmen at one point says: "Mensen kijken zielig naar me". This means "People are looking at me pathetically". What she should have said, is "People are looking at me with sympathy/empathy" ("Mensen kijken medelijdend naar me"). And the list goes on...and on...and on...

But where the movie really fails, is on the emotional level. I'm a softy, when Bambi's mother gets shot, I yank out my handkerchief. Yet this film did not move me one bit. The only emotion I felt is when I tried to identify with the little girl, having lost my own father to cancer when I was eight. But this is hardly a merit of the film.

So...to sum it up. Bad script, bad music, poor direction, not worth wasting nearly two hours of your live on.


This is the movie of the famous Dutch book 'komt een vrouw bij de dokter'. The book describes the true events that the author (Kluun) experienced when his wive is diagnosed with breast cancer that eventually takes her life.

First of all, this movie is as dull as a one-in-a-thousand soap operas on TV. Second, the main character is unsympathetic. You cannot make a movie around someone you cannot identify with. You can try, but only few directors can pull off such a thing. Reinout Oerlemans surely can not.

The movie tries to be dramatic, but never even comes close to real drama. Its almost slapstick. For example the scene where Carmed hears about her illness from the doctor conveys no drama or emotion at all! Its also rushed into the movie. No character built-up, no nothing.

The main character is a person you cannot have sympathy for. His wive gets cancer, he can't handle it and runs away. He cheated on his wife when she was still healthy, so he surely cheats on his wife when she gets sick. He is an asshole, but his wife is even more stupid because she likes him no matter what.

The movie only revolves around Stijn, his wife Carmen is actually a card-board persona that has no depth at all. All her decisions remain unexplained, yet she is the one dealing with a cheating husband, and cancer. We must make notice here that the book only tells Stijns version of the story. Carmen is dead so we cannot ask her anything. Kluun (the author of the book) cleverly left out all that is interesting.

In the end of the movie Carmen dies and I liked it. She deserved not to live in my opinion. Stijn deserves his wife dying on him, because he never really cared about her in the first place. His wife dead, makes sure he cannot harm her even more. He never loved his wife, I can tell you that. The author even tries to make money out of her death by writing a self-indulged book and trying to sell his whining and his childish behavior. This man never deserved his book being turned into a proper film, I am glad it didn't.

I know people that have been in the same position as Stijn, and they did not behave like this animal in the first place. They did not write silly books trying to get the attention of the mass-public: "look me, I am pathetic. My wife has cancer, look me. Look me, my wife has cancer, I am pathetic, shall we have sex?".

The only interesting parts in this movie were the sex-scenes. As traditional Dutch cinema describes, this movie contains a lot of unnecessary nude-scenes that funny enough contain a lot of breasts. Carice "Look my breasts" van Houten does what she does: flash her breasts, like she does in all her movies. Really weird. I hope they make a porn movie out of this one, because that version will automatically have more story-line than this 'work of art'.

Instead of crying, I was laughing at the end of the movie. I was bored and was glad this movie was over. The book was better than the movie because it had a little more dept. The author however, in my opinion is a criminal that deserves none of all the attention he gets.


I went to see this movie because I heard a lot of news about it and knowing the book was quite successful. Knowing it was directed by Reinout Oerlemans I had some doubts but anyway I thought I should see it with an open mind. It totally disappointed me and did not reach a level above the average soap opera.

First the character Stijn. He started out in the movie as a good looking guy working in an advertising company. The movie pretends he is a 'succesfull' guy but in reality he is an empty headed person not even past his puberty making dumb commercials and cheating on his wife without any remorse. It is not even clear why he loves her, the only thing mentioned she is good-looking and sexy and probably that is the only thing that matters in Stijn's mind. Stijn's cheating goes on through all the movie and only the in the end when is wife is dying he becomes loyal for a short period. Actually he is quite lucky she dies and does not have a chronic disease, shortly after her death he calls Roos to make up probably.

Then Carmen, she seems to be a bit more smart and emotionally developed than her husband but still accepts his cheating. At one point she seems to get wise and wants a divorce. Unfortunately she is not that strong willed and it takes Stijn not more than a few days to talk her out of it. Yes he again gets away with his cheating as real womanizer should, is he supposed to be 'cool' for this or just a jerk who does not respect women !?!? I still can't understand what their happiness consists of besides a self-indulgent feeling of having an important or good career, yuppie friends and parties, and of course their daughter. To me they seem two under aged children not able commit to each other and to develop a relationship which goes deeper than sex and having a laugh together.

Finally I also have some good points about the movie, there are some nice scenes especially by Carmen (Carice van Houten), the first is the car scene and the second of course the dying scene which are both well acted a filmed and actually give some worth to the movie. Another strong point is the speed of the story and the cool disco and sex scenes, they give some of the younger audience some entertainment although they distract from the main storyline. My conclusion is that it will be a nice flick for the 16 year old-s, but anyone over 25 with any intelligence should avoid this !


This movie is a lot more realistic that most. movies are supposed to entertain maybe, but i like to think that every director also wants to communicate, inspire, tease and challenge. This movie sure challenged me to think about life, about love, about choices. how do we react on challenges? do we run? do we hide? do we pretend or do we face.

In this fantastically acted drama we see the story of two people, maybe a little bit more attractive and successful than average lives, but the rest of the story is so realistic, serious, harsh (no fairy tale) and down to earth that you realize: This is so real that I might face this somewhere in my life, and by realizing that, this movie just added a little bit to my view of life.

That is why this movie is a 10 out of 10. it's not a no brain romcom or action story that you watch for entertainment. It's a piece of art that shows you exactly what love comes down to in the hardest struggles of our lives. Beautiful, impacting, excellent.


Like the book, this movie doesn't allow you to easily identify or sympathise with the main character. You have to admire the book as well as the film for bringing on a main character that you want to kick the sh1t out of every now and again, and still getting the sales that it does.

What the book does, and this carries over nicely to the film, is raise a couple what-if questions that many (read: most of us) would feel uncomfortable to answer. Mainly for that reason, the book got some irate reviews in the Netherlands. Since the movie is fairly true to the book's theme, it is inevitable that the same would happen again.

Barry Atsma does a stellar job in creating a character that most of us would want to kick the crap out for most of the movie. And Carice van Houten is... well, what can I say? If anyone could've done justice to the Carmen character from the book, it's her.

Do see this movie if you're ready to have your prejudices about love (we all have them) challenged. You might end up puzzled, which is a good thing, because it will force you to think.

If rethinking your values is not your Cup Of Tea, then I'd not recommend it.


About a week ago, I ventured out to see this movie. The story of a young attractive family being torn apart by a fatal illness, is the sorta thing, with which I gently smile myself to sleep at night, and them being Dutch - not to mention seeing Tree-hugger Van Houten slowly deteriorating- would only add to the amusement.

Unfortunately, the characters where bland, emotionally distant and typical cookie-cutter Dutch cinematic personae; So laughing at their misery was thwarted. However, the movie featured many unintentionally funny scenes; one of the best being, that after the dooming diagnosis, when beef-in-briefs Stijn and mono-mammary Carmen drive away from the hospital the license plate on their car reads DD...ah, hilarious.

The raw and gritty drama consists of nothing more than some involuntary bodily functions, Stijn driving around sweating and smoking, listening to Belgian hardstyle trance or something and aggressive sex-scenes that really don't do for me, because of pantie-jungles of "the Tart of Darkness" vastness and a scrawny cheese-head (however, "The Blonde tearing off one of her chest-icles-dream" was insanely hot.)

In fact any claim to the pure tragedy is nonsensical, since Sinead O'Cancer (Carmen) dies basking in pure luxury, along with trips to New York, Milan, Hawaii, etc. She lacks for nothing and makes an angelic end. Even her make up is perfect during her prolonged sickbed)

Any chance for drama - be it manipulative or not - is never explored, like how do they raise their child, when they are self-absorbed and non-present. (Oh wait, We Dutch have been doing that since the sixties ,thank Marx for socialist education factories) Although the two scenes in which the child is confronted by her mother's immanent end, were funny; I love people who attempt to sweeten their tragedy with humour but lack any wit to do so. The box they made for kiddo and the final scene in which she and "Stijn-head stone for my wife" open the box, is not used to any dramatic resolution, but apparently learning to surf is - probably the newest fad for the Hypermosaean bores.

Fine secondary characters by which the two lead could have any resonance are woefully under-scripted, but finely acted by Jeroen Willems and the ever wonderful Sacha Bulthuisen.

I must however compliment the production-design, costumes, sets, stunts, those where all of the highest quality and there where some interesting camera angles.

so my scoop for this poop: (...Remember Carmen, dirty pants, clean botty) The movie was entertaining, but more as a study in exploitative cinema directed at menopausal women, their vapid daughters and masochistic tweens who project all suffering unto themselves.

Oh yes, what was up with all the vagrant mopeds that littered the frames?


As far as I'm concerned there is some great acting (Carice van Houten, Barry Atsma and Anna Drijver do a great job with what is given) and there is nothing wrong with the way the director chose to tell the story. He may not be the most original or most experienced, but it was adequate at least.

I particularly liked the fact-of-the-matter style of portraying the scenes concerning the whole process of going through the diagnostics and the treatments in the hospital. The scene where Carmen says goodbye to her little daughter was also very well done; of course such a scene is touching by itself, so it's hard not to make it tacky. It wasn't.

What bothered me throughout the film however is that it is very hard to identify with the main characters or at least grow to understand them. That is not an acting nor a directing flaw, that flaw is embedded in the way the original story is written.

The autobiographical story stays annoyingly shallow and self-centered in it's explanation of the motivations for the behaviour of the main character (himself) with little character development nor room to really learn to understand him. At the same time the way the writer portrays the character of his wife stays shallow as well, not giving us as the viewer/reader a lot of insight in her decisions, drivers or emotions. There are only some scenes that gave us a glimpse of that, like the one that I mentioned earlier with the last goodbye to her daughter, and the one in which she breaks down in the tunnel after the party. Those were also the better and more moving scenes.

To summarise: good acting, good directing, flawed story.


Not worth watching. The typical (commercial) dutch cinema will guarantee a story that will give you the 'deja vu' experience of a lifetime, because of the selling-point of these movies they need to make a success movie... To bad that they just keep looking in what was a success in the Hollywood box office...

And they never seem to actually do it...

The story is of-course a rip-off of many many Hollywood movies. To bad that there is not enough money left in the dutch cinema to make something less cheesy. Let alone forbid the fact that they will not cop to the pressure of "this needs to be a success"

So bad man... good wife... lots a bullshit around it to fill the rest o the movie. True love... uhh yeah something like that...

Anyways a lot of resemblance for woman that have a bad choice in men in real life so they can become just as mad as when they are watching a bad soap opera...

Which is exactly what this movie is. A ninety minute soap opera. Better go and watch something fun and romantic from the Hollywood section.


Yak! This is the awful product of a talentless guy who is very successful here in the Netherlands..successful as in:'making millions of money with utterly talentless and silly crappy productions that are so well received by the Dutch , very receivable to manipulation, Dutch audiences.... Time after time i am wondering how is it possible that actors who are considered serious here in the lowlands lend themselves to appear in the crappy nonsense that is being made here and presented as blockbusters. This film holds nothing!!! no good acting ,not a bearable script , no moving story , no (real) drama...and before everything else no originality...but that's something that állas , hardly any Dutch mainstream movie can be accused of. (why in Godsname draw Gijs Scholten van Achgat and Pierre Bokma out of the cupboard to appear as doctors, and Why in Gods name do they accept this meager contributions to this nausea-creating work of utterly non interesting bad in every-way 'film '? shame on them !

This 'film'was horror ! made by an utterly talentless 'film'maker.

ps.why waste a crappy load of money in some vague scenes at the most cliché-Holiday paradise on earth, Borra Borra? shame on you Reinout Oerlemans , for y'r terrible useless waste of money !!!

please keep yourself far away the world of movies as a director anyway!!! (just stick to y'r money business....please...)

am i glad i did'nt buy a theatre ticket for this...


Not gonna lie: NEVER have I had such difficulty watching a movie. The experience was emotionally devastating and actually physically painful. Never would I have dreamed I could see a film worse than Steel Magnolias, Beaches, Fried Green Tomatoes, and My Girl combined...and yet here I am, having just seen this one. I am not okay. I am utterly destroyed. My ginger excuse for a soul has been crushed, wrecked, shattered, pulverized (I wish I were exaggerating what a mess this made of me.)

The power to have this effect derives from the leading lady; Carice is truly a phenomenal actress. I've become a huge fan of hers. She makes you believe everything. She makes you feel EVERYTHING. Deeply. She can say SO MUCH without even speaking a word. She catapults this script, which is basically an automatic recipe for "heartbreaking," to absolutely heart-annihilating. She herself has a singular beauty as well as a natural aura of purity, innocence, and goodness that helps with parts such as this. (That there's still so much more tremendous talent within that teeny-tiny frame of hers--musically, for instance--could almost be infuriating were she not so lovable.) Seriously...I mean, Carmen's frequent vomiting had me feeling nauseous--NOT because I'm squeamish about that (I'm not; the needles are what normally bother me), but due to the empathy for her. Heck, the whole final third or so of the movie had me feeling that way (and, needless to say, just sobbing uncontrollably.)

The premise is nearly unbelievable with this casting and writing, actually. If this Carmen is your wife, how on Earth does the desire to be with anyone else ever even enter into your head at all? If she falls gravely ill, how is your only thought not to be her constant loving support & caretaker as you fight the disease together with everything you've got? The main plotline here is harrowing enough; the secondary one that involves Stijn running back and forth from her to a club to another woman...it's incredibly maddening, and altogether it's murder. He never completely abandons her, but you can't stop thinking furiously and desperately of how much better she and their daughter deserve. Even trying to look at it as "He can't handle the torment and needs to escape with someone who isn't sick," I cannot begin to justify his behavior--particularly since he was *always* a disgusting adulterer. From the very start, she deserved someone with the loyalty, integrity, fortitude, and pure love to stay by her side through thick and thin. He was simply unworthy of this extremely over-tolerant woman. That he always came back to her (for as long as he could) doesn't excuse his cheating. It merely makes him a somewhat better husband than he could've been. The whole thing hurts so much it's hard to think about.

Would I watch this again? Oh man. More like, "Could I bear to?" Just thinking about it gets me going all over again. So if I wanted to torture myself that way, I'd have to gather all my strength...

I know! My rewrite of this film will include a new role--that of a close friend for poor Carmen, who will berate that dirtbag for his adulterous ways (Carmen may accept it but she does not--especially while her friend is ill.) This person will be what Carmen deserved, bringing her to and from the hospital and staying with her and taking care of her and making sure *everything* possible is done to save her, as well as making sure Carmen knows how loved she is. Of course it ends with remission and finding a new, faithful, totally committed man who knows how to love somebody and is worthy of her. ^^ Maybe Stijn learns something from the experience and becomes a changed man; maybe not. Yay! There we go. Good stuff. I can feel my soul reconstituting as we speak.

(Also, did I include spoilers? Well, better safe than sorry, right?)


This movie is not made to only enjoy the dutch audience, it is to good to stay in The Netherlands alone.

My girlfriend did want to see this movie because she did read the book, in my mind the movie after the book is not special. Most of the times you always hear "the book was a lot better". I was wrong. The movie goes the same way as the book goes even the chapters (3 in total) are announced.

the story follows a man, who is successful in the world of advertising, got a lot of money, nice girls around him, until he see his future wife, they got married, then his life changes. The woman is diagnosed with cancer, the story will guide you through the whole process.

The main role is player's by Carice van Houten (Valkyrie, Black Book/Zwartboek), the leading dutch actress at this moment, she plays a magnificent role, the acting is great and you will feel for her the whole time.

The director of this movie is an old soap actor, after that he did made the program The national IQ test, the movie was his first directing job, I was afraid that he was going to mess up the movie. I was wrong again, he made the movie like it was his own child, made it work, the camera work was almost perfect, it was living, not static as most of the "drama" movies, it makes you feel like you are in the room.

A almost perfect movie, really good acting, really nice soundtrack,

and most of all a brilliant story that is made to see and feel.


this film makes me sure that Netherlands still has something to say in film world. the movie contains terrific moments of love.I love Carice van Houten that is really a great actress. An actress full of different emotions. her beauty will catch you and power of her playing will enchant you. I can't forget her look when when she was full of sorrows .Her tears in the film really tease you,stimulate your sympathy .I should say the film as a whole belongs to CARMEN ROLE . it 's film of various feelings. you can watch different angles of life of a person that suffers from cancer and all problems that encircle her.the director directs very good.Even you can say the film is film of power of acting. but the only fault of director or Screenwriter is, if we can say, over- returning of Stijn to second love after cutting the relationships.this subject happens several times and i think it hurts the reality of storyline.


And all the sudden everyone in the Netherlands knew Kluun (the author). He wrote this perfect and heart breaking story based on his own life. Kluun lost his wife of cancer and cheated on her to get distraction. The book and therefor the movie are about struggle against cancer, if you need to hear one sentence.

I was happily surprised after I saw the movie, which is based on the book. All the emotions you feel when reading, you feel the same emotions when watching the movie, which is a huge compliment. The actors bring the characters of the book to life and they do it in a brilliant and subtle way. The movie is beautiful and a justice to the book and the author. It's just as pure and honest as the author has meant for the book. So, forget who are acting or directed it, just watch the movie.

The original Dutch title is 'Komt een vrouw bij de dokter' (the English version of the book is named 'Love Life', the movie 'A woman goes to the doctor'), which needs an explanation. The sentence is the first line of one of those typical Dutch jokes. Kluun explains that he wished that the story of him and his wife would have ended up like one of these terrible jokes.

The story is about a young and successful married couple, Stijn and Carmen and their daughter Luna. Then all the sudden, after a visit to the PG ('dokter' or 'huisarts' in Dutch), followed by the hospital, Carmen is diagnosed with breast cancer. No need to say that their beautiful world they live in, collapses. While Carmen is starting chemo therapy and so on, Stijn does what he does best to deal with this situation he can't control; cheating on his wife.

Stijn has cheated before, which Carmen knew. She has confronted him in the past and he told her the truth. Now he's the supporting husband during the day, but at night time he turns back to his old habits; having sex with other women. Again, Carmen knows, but can handle the fact that her husband isn't the monogamous type. She knows that those women aren't important and at the end of the day Stijn will always come back to her. And to Stijn, other women are just entertainment, one night stands, women he doesn't need to see again, it's just sex.

But things get worse for Carmen and after losing her breast and hair, she isn't the confident woman as she was before and she doesn't feel comfortable anymore with Stijn cheating on her. During that period, Stijn gets to know Roos. It started with sex, but he realizes he wants more from Roos. And because of Roos, he stays away more often. But while Stijn is with Roos, Carmen prepares Luna that she'll be gone. Carmen realizes she wants and needs the full attention of her husband to be there for her and their daughter. She asks him to quit cheating to work on their marriage. Stijn agrees, but things are getting worse and worse with Carmen, which means it's getting more difficult for Stijn to handle it. To handle life with a dying Carmen, Luna to support and the sexy Roos he desperately wants at the same time.

The movie is Dutch, but has Enlgish subtitles. Please, take the effort to watch it (or buy at least the book). You'll be ended up in tears, it's worth it. I can recommend it and I would even urge people to do so. Often the partners of the one with cancer are pushed to the background, while they also have to struggle just as hard although in a different way). You can be narrow minded and judge Stijn, but in the end it's a way of surviving.

I saw the movie with my husband who haven't read the book. We both ended up in tears and we both needed some time to process what we've just seen.

SPOILER ALERT: Stijn supports his wife the best way he can. But he ends up with Roos again, despite the promise he made his wife. Ofcrouse these 2 life and work won't combine, which results in a huge fight with Carmen. At that point he realizes that Carmen's life is too short to split it with Roos. Although by now he loves Roos, he chooses to support Carmen and Luna for the rest of her life. After a short period of time, Carmen can't handle it anymore and decides she wants to commit euthanasia. After this very emotional moment of saying goodbye and let each other go. Stijn then wants Roos to be part of the funeral. Even though it might started for the sex, he also realizes that his marriage probably would have ended in a divorce if it wasn't for Roos. Because of his relationship with Roos and Roos's support, he had the strength to support and love his wife till the very end.

In real life, Stijn (Kluun) is still with Roos (Naat). His 2nd daughter (of Kluun and Naat) is named Roos after the character Roos. The book is dedicated to his first wife Juud (Carmen in the book) and Naat.


It's a film made in 2009, but what it tried to address as a sub plot was miles better than what Love Cuts did through an entire film, with a better cast, direction, and of course, budget. Stricken is a Dutch film directed by Reinout Oerlmans, based on a novel by Raymond van de Kulndert, that deals with romance, sickness and mortality all rolled into one, firm in its focus on the principle characters whom you'd probably see shades of someone in your circle, and is about life's journey that everyone will have to go through.

When we're young, the world is our oyster and the sky's the limit. There's this feeling of invincibility that nothing can touch us, and that we're infallible. That is until Fate almost always know how to throw a curve ball at us, so that we and others around us will get to learn some lessons, eat humble pie, and start to seriously look at what we're doing with our lives. Stijn (Barry Atsma) is a high flying advertising executive who meets an equally career minded superwoman in Carmen (Carice van Houten) with whom he falls instantly in love with. They soon get married after a whirlwind romance, and life's looking pretty good with their venturing out on their own, and becoming their own boss. Until Carmen gets a lump in her breast that's deemed malignant.

For the first third of the film, told in chapters, it recounts what countless of breast cancer patients had already gone through, and as such turns in to be quite instructive, with a peek into how the Dutch medical system handles the chemotherapy, radiation treatment and the option of amputation. The shock in its discovery, denial, acceptance, and to live life with a condition, is what van Houten, a wonderful actress, aces in her role of Carmen, now a wife and mother to a toddler, trying to live a life of normalcy while battling the dreaded disease. Support comes from her husband in accompanying her to the doctor's, chauffeuring her around and such. But there's a problem that she's well aware of - his infidelity, and in what would be mentioned in fairly crude terms, he's a boob man, and so lies the insecurities and fear of not being a complete woman to prevent her husband from straying.

What she doesn't know is of the extent of his infidelity, which is only privy to Stijn's best friends who cover his tracks for him, and us the audience. Again it makes you wonder what marriage vows are for and if they're worth any weight in gold, and what truly hammers it home is that while one can provide physical support by being around when needed, or even to the point of scooting off whenever opportunity presents itself, what would really matter in any closed one's time of need, is emotional availability. And this is sometihng that can be sensed whether you are conscious of it or otherwise. Sensed by the person suffering, and adding a bit of unnecessary stress and worry. Anyone who had provided care and been a primary care giver before, will know the hardships associated with being there for someone, and sometimes battling the need for a little time off.

Which in Stijn's case, that time off from the wife meant having to go get laid, beginning a more serious affair with painter Roos (Anna Drijver) whom he meets at the club in an annual festival, finally mustering the courage not to accept a friendly smile, but demanding something more. It's easy to condemn Stijn as a character since we can all cast rocks at his adulterous behaviour, but I guess for cinematic reasons Drijver could be here just for eye candy reasons. What I felt was this being a personification of anything that's to distract us from doing what's necessary, since anything out of routine, together with gratification obtained, would surely beat the dreadedness in caring for the sick.

Stricken catches itself and gets its act together for the emotional, final half hour, after plenty of dalliances between the different love affairs, and for Stijn to finally wake up through a round-about fashion. While van Houten may be the bigger name on the marquee thanks to films like Black Book and Valkyrie that were released here, Barry Atsma held his own opposite van Houten, and we feel the pain felt by both characters as they maneuver around the disease which start to wreck havoc in their lives. And this is truly an experience nobody would like to go through, with questions, insecurities and escapism rolled out against a spectrum of emotions accurately captured and portrayed by the actors, with an ending that will surprise, though not uncommon depending on the laws of the land.

Rated R21 here for the countless of nudity scenes from van Houten, Drijver and countless of other faceless females that Stijn can't seem to get enough of, and one bloody harrowing scene where a female clubber dances, strips, and then proceeds to rip her breast off in one sweeping motion. Bound to give anyone some nightmares for its degree of gore.


European film companies willingly tackle subjects that no "self- respecting" U.S. film company would touch, probably for fear of alienating their market. Stricken is such a film. This Dutch offering could have only been produced in The Netherlands or Belgium and stars the inimitable Carice van Houten opposite the very capable Barry Atsma.

Convincing dialog, superlative acting, cinematography and directing, with a story line that will provoke thought and move you, this is not light fare, but a drama that offers real substance, raises valid questions and presents people as real people. The characters aren't perfect, aren't cookie cutter "heroes" or "villains," but possess flaws as well as virtues. The story line is multi-level and presents a facet of life in the Low Countries that has yet to be dealt with in our U.S. culture.

Food for the brain, possibly food for the soul (depending upon one's view of the issues), Stricken should be considered must viewing for anyone who looks to movies for more than light entertainment.

You may not agree with the moral decisions in the movie--by any of the characters--but the decision of Carmen (van Houten) is one that many will find understandable. It is her decision and the lifestyle choices of her and Stijn (Atsma) which, along with the events leading to her decision which create the drama, the tension and social/moral dilemmas.

I consider this to be one of the premier movies to come from Europe in the last decade. Few will consider it a peaceful film, almost no one could call it a "feel good" or happy movie, but it offers a view that some might find ultimately comforting.