Inge is on her way to return a pair of mended trousers to her customer, Karl, but the delivery ends in a sudden passionate embrace followed by sex. Inge lives with her husband Werner and so she initially avoids having a relationship with Karl, but mutual attraction (and not only sexual) gets the upper hand. Love blooms at every age – even in retirement, as the protagonists discover themselves. What Cloud 9 offers, however, is really a traditional love triangle. The film follows its protagonists in unflinching detail, during their sexual encounters and also their most painful moments, hiding nothing from the audience. The taboo topic of eroticism among older people – though perhaps shocking at first – receives an appropriate portrayal full of gawkiness and authenticity as well as sensitivity and humour. As is typical of Dresen, the performances are excellent and the film is a very real and important testament to the psychological and physical yearnings of the older generation.
Dresen's work has a hypnotically stripped-down style, a kind of minimalist romanticism. The sparseness of his cinematography and script creates a wonderfully anxious tension. Cloud 9 is much like his tonally perfect Summer in Berlin, which also involved three average people tripping over the selfishness inherent in the act of falling in love.