Friday, 7 August 2009

Show Me Love


Fucking Åmål; Drama, Sweden, 1998; D: Lukas Moodysson, S: Alexandra Dahlström, Rebecka Liljeberg, Erica Carlson, Mathias Rust

Åmål is a small town in Sweden where all teenagers seem normal. But the secluded Agnes still can't cope with her environment even though she moved in the town 2 years ago. On her 16th birthday, their parents organize a party for her, but only her coeval in wheelchair shows up. Agnes is angry but then Jessica and blond Enid show up. Agnes is in love with Enid, but gets disappointed when she kisses her just for a bet. Enid goes to another party, but returns and again kisses her. Afraid of shame, Enid avoids her in school, even getting a boyfriend, Johan. Still, in the end she admits her love for her in school and they leave.

"Show Me Love" has a brassy original title, but the viewers shouldn't judge it by it before they see it, since its a matter of a quiet drama that handles the relationship of the lesbian protagonists appropriately serious and honest. It is a good film without any particular highlights that leads a dry atmosphere by avoiding any music or colorful upbeat tones or for that matter fake optimistic cliches found in many mainstream films. Director Lukas Moodysson, who here crafted his feature length debut film, describes the problems of his heroines realistically, avoiding mocking them even when the characters in the story mock them - for instance, when the boys in school find out Agnes is a lesbian, they tease her by placing a picture of a naked woman in her locker, but she manages to turn the whole situation to her advantage with humor, deciding to nonchalantly comment the looks of the woman with them. Still, the film could have been much more imaginative and versatile.

Grade:++

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