Yamakasi 2
Öga rött, Ett

Fucking Åmål (1998)
Sweden / Swedish
"Jag ska aldrig mer bli ihop med nån. Jag ska bli celibat. "
Two teenage girls in small-town Sweden. Elin is beautiful, popular, and bored with life. Agnes is friendless, sad, and secretly in love with Elin.
Alexandra Dahlström Elin Olsson
Rebecka Liljeberg Agnes Ahlberg (as Rebecca Liljeberg)
Erica Carlson Jessica Olsson
Mathias Rust Johan Hulth
Stefan Hörberg Markus
Ralph Carlsson Agnes' Father Olof
Maria Hedborg Agnes' Mother Karin
Axel Widegren Agnes' Little Brother Oskar
Jill Ung Elin's Mother Birgitta
Lisa Skagerstam Camilla
Josefine Nyberg Viktoria
Lina Svantesson Malin
Johanna Larsson Sara
Elinor Johansson Jenny
Jessica Melkersson Sabina
Director: Lukas Moodysson
Producer: Lars Jönsson
Writer: Lukas Moodysson
It's the same in Sweden
With 'Welcome to the Dollhouse,' Todd Solondz injected his portrait of the adolescent experience with such uncompromising nastiness and bitterness that it became almost alien. Lukas Moodysson's debut, 'Show Me Love,' rectifies this with a more balanced and sensitive approach. Less stylized than Tolondz's film and less self-important than 'American Beauty,' 'Show Me Love' relinquishes some of the intense subjectivity that compromised those other two films and emerges as altogether more touching. Shot on 16mm in cinema verité style, it has more in common with Truffaut's '400 Blows' and 'Small Change.'

The central character is Agnes, secretly a lesbian and in love with Elin, who is the equivalent of Mena Suvari's "high school whore" in 'American Beauty'; precociously beautiful and with a reputation for promiscuity, she's actually a virgin who's just as confused about her image and sexuality as Agnes and as Jordan, the awkward moped-driving wallflower who idolizes her. The affiliation-minded war zone of high school yields an experience just as painful as the one depicted in 'Welcome to the Dollhouse,' but it's even more recognizable -- even to an American viewer. This experience, of high school life in a suburban town, is a universal one.

Most admirably, Moodysson's film is only 80 minutes in length and manages a more thorough and accurate survey of the kind of personalities found in any such school. It contrasts the surface of these personalities with the realities from which they're projected, and it effortlessly achieves the right tone. The parents are not uncaring, not absent, and not incidental, and the dynamic amongst friends and siblings is well accounted for. As a debut, it's coarse in spots, perhaps deliberately so, and it may seem a bit simplistic in the way the movie is essentially a line between point A and point B, but there's a great deal of nuance and compassion here. The movie doesn't revel in unpleasantries in the way that 'Welcome to the Dollhouse' seems designed to make the audience squirm. There's a lot of uncomfortable stuff here, but it's not amplified, and it's lifted directly from real life experience. Watching the film, one can understand why so many "young adults," as they're called in America, are suicidal, violent, prone to substance abuse, dangerously self-conscious, sexually immature, and ultimately facing empty lives, checkered by decisions made to appease expectations. In these teenagers, there's the somber echo of the adults they will become. Skillfully, too, Moodysson hits the bullseye in establishing the characters' intellects and egos; whether smart or not, they carry themselves in a particular manner, struggle between complicity with social norms and questioning them, and speak with a semi-articulacy/inarticulacy that faithfully represents the way actual high schoolers express themselves.

Moodysson also presents a more tender and accurate, if maybe slightly superficial, examination of budding adolescent sexuality and self-discovery, with both the pangs of sexual anticipatory anxiety and the pain of knowing that a public sexual image is expected of you in this environment, that sexual activity is to be advertised (often by proxy) and not respected as private. Also explored is the frustration of living in an unrefined suburban community, the kind that makes being different all the more difficult. Moodysson shows the consequences of cruelty and the fact that individuals of this age are not likely to consider those consequences, and that cruelty simply breeds cruelty. All of this, and the movie is perfectly bittersweet, with one heartstopping backseat kiss.

Seen it:Nej
Nr of disks/tapes:1
Storage device:Divx 1
Imdb rating: 7.8
Running time: 89 min
Subtitles: Svenska
Audio tracks: Stereo [English]
Everything else:
Last modified: 2007-07-18 22:31:3