The Nudels of Nudleand means well. It’s a pro-nudism story about a fictional country called Nudeland, where nudists can exist together unjudged and unashamed of their bodies. Body positivity is an important message, and it’s hard to imagine a film emphasizing it quite so openly; most of the performers are naked throughout the film while their characters struggle with social acceptance and a desire to find their place.
Tim (Tim Chizmar, also the film’s writer and director) loses a relationship with his long-term girlfriend who wants to shop for clothes and shoes and hang out in public. Lucz (Juliana Acosta) is a seamstress and fashion worker who struggles with her inability to be regularly naked. “I’m not a hoochie,” she yells, “I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin!”
These are the main characters, who face many struggles because of repressive friends, family and law enforcement. Both have an opportunity to shout their viewpoints in blunt terms: Why, for instance, are Lucz’s nipples viewed as bad when male-presenting nipples are OK for presentation? All things considered, their points are thoughtful, valid and inclusive.
Unfortunately, the film itself is a disorganized smorgasbord of different narrative approaches to making its point. The two stories exist throughout but are interspersed with silly sketches and fake promotional ads for Nudeland. For example, one recurring sketch is the streaker of Nudeland, who runs around clothed. It’s a classic example of something that was probably fun to make for those involved but doesn’t translate to a particularly funny bit for an uninitiated audience.
The humor is hit and miss (mostly miss), but in fairness, there’s some heart here in a story about two people afraid to be themselves and finding acceptance in a community that values them. By joining Nudeland, Tim and Lucz are allowed to live in their own bodies without shame from their friends and family. They also end up finding love with each other, consummated during a game of reverse strip poker, which is a pretty good gag.
Props to the cast and crew of nudists who wanted to make a tongue-in-cheek film about their small community of friends and the acceptance they’ve found. It’s hard to be too critical of something bursting with positive energy, even if it’s not particularly well-made.