Mr. Fehling, tumbling from puppy dog eagerness into weepy, inky self-pity, never quite rises to the requirements of the role, which may be hopelessly incoherent in any case.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
What was Sturm and Drang then veers close to camp and kitsch now.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
That this film was originally titled Goethe! should give you a sense of how much silly Sturm und Drang boosterism awaits.
Melissa Anderson - Village Voice
It's ... unworthy of Mr. Stolzl, who amid all the facile antics does manage to show his directorial mettle, if only in a single and critical scene...
John Anderson - Wall Street Journal
"Young Goethe in Love" is a delight on its own terms, even if it has little to do with the real Goethe; here is a randy young man not a million miles apart from Tom Jones.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
You needn't know a thing about Goethe or his works to enjoy the picture.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Like a porcelain dish commemorating a famous person, this biopic has little to teach us about the great German writer but sure makes him look adorable.
Ben Sachs - Chicago Reader
More diverting than it is deep...
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
The story of a talented but not yet mature young man who stumbles upon the topic that would lead to his fame: love, and the loss of it.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Well plotted and impressively mounted.
Boyd van Hoeij - Variety
"Young Goethe" looks great, and the cast is appealing. But the story is riddled with cliches and fabrications, like a duel between Lotte's two suitors.
V.A. Musetto - New York Post
Highbrow pedigree is mostly window dressing for a commercial period romance about Germany's literary giant.
John DeFore - Hollywood Reporter
It drowns in swoony cliches.
Kevin Thomas - Los Angeles Times
Stylistically, the most engaging aspect of the picture is Stolzl's direction.
Stanley Kauffmann - The New Republic
It's just as gorgeously shot, just as clever, just as frothy and dynamic as the period pieces of 15-20 years ago.
Witney Seibold - CraveOnline
Fans of "Shakespeare in Love" should receive this one warmly. I would watch it again.
James Plath - Movie Metropolis
full review at Movies for the Masses
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
An old-fashioned romance that's easy to like even if you have no interest in German literature, illegal duels or the more romantic aspects of committing suicide.
Calvin Wilson - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Pain plus time, this film reminds us, can result in poetry.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
An Ashton Kutcher/Katherine Heigl rom-com vehicle with pretty dresses.
Justin Strout - Orlando Weekly
So long as one doesn't take it as a history lesson,...a moderately enjoyable period piece...an exercise in quasi-biography that's engaging in an old-fashioned way.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
A lively, deeply felt film that convinces us a historical figure's life was as compelling as the work he achieved.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Attempts to do for the German romantic poet what Amadeus did for Mozart, with limited success.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
We get a classic situation, but no less potent for its being familiar. As always, the personalities make or break it, and here they make it.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Turns one of the greatest geniuses of German literature into a love-struck rapscallion.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Charming in a way that American romantic comedies have all but forgotten, Young Goethe in Love is by turns cute, campy and endearingly cliched.
Jeannette Catsoulis - NPR
A biopic about the early adventures of Goethe at work, in love, and creating his first masterwork.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Whatever its basis in fact, there's nothing to Young Goethe In Love's story that dozens of other films haven't done before, and better.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
Though far from the rollicking success of Shakespeare in Love or as moving as Goethe's original tale, this visually lush, well-acted German-language biopic is a worthy take on a formative period in the great writer's life.
Wendy Weinstein - Film Journal International
What was an irreverent look at genius becomes just another irrelevant biopic.
David Fear - Time Out
Philipp Stolzl's film takes both Goethe's genius and the inevitable superiority of the brand of romanticism that marked his early work as a given.
Andrew Schenker - Slant Magazine
A touching German romance that blows American rom-coms out of the water.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
A doomed love affair that inspired a literary genius.
Don Groves - sbs.com.au