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SHOW ME LOVE

SYNOPSIS:
Teenager Agnes (Rebecka Liljberg) has a crush on popular Elin (Alexandra Dahlstrom). Friendless since her arrival in the cultural backwater of Amal more than a year ago, Agnes is accused of being a lesbian by her classmates. As a cruel joke, Elin and her sister Jessica (Erica Carlson) turn up at Agnes' house in the wake of a disastrous birthday party organised by Agnes' well-meaning parents. To win a bet, Elin kisses Agnes. The fleeting incident will have a profound effect on both girls as they come to terms with its deeper meaning.

"There are real teenagers who live outside Bring It On and American Pie. They live in this honest and moving film which is one of the best films ever made on the pains of adolescence. There are no blindly insensitive parents, cool teenagers who think they know it all or dumb teachers here; just real kids who don't understand everything and are stumbling through things as best they can. It has an acute feel for what it's like for these girls who feel trapped in a boring town with nothing to do except lament how fashion and trends have changed by the time they reach Amal and to play cruel jokes on a newcomer like Agnes. Show Me Love isn't even really about sex despite the kiss between Agnes and Elin. It's about confusion, cluelessness and the painful course of self discovery which budding sexual awareness inspires. What's at the heart of the film is beautifully expressed in scenes such as the one in which both girls confess to sexual inexperience and another in which a wheelchair-bound friend rejects Agnes' apology after being insulted at the birthday party. In the teen film genre these are moments of revelation when we're so used to superficial treatments of the most physically and emotionally tumultuous years in life. Superbly performed by a largely non-professional cast Show Me Love is that rare film which gets it right from the start. That it's the highest grossing film ever released in Sweden (yes, including Titanic) is an indication that there's something very special about Agnes, Elin and their friends. It's worth going out of your way to witness one of the year's best films."
Richard Kuipers

"The best teen movie of the year, Show Me Love is bound to be a big word-of-mouth hit: the plot sounds trite, but the dialogue is excellent, and the details add up to a very truthful, funny, non-hysterical picture of what it's like to be a teenager at the moment, in Sweden or elsewhere. It makes a big difference that for once the actors look the right age, some of them hardly past childhood: the film is all about the desperate adolescent desire to explore the world of grown-up novelty, get wasted, have sex, run away to the big city, anything to escape the boredom of being a kid. Puberty blues: fourteen-year-old Elin, a tiny blonde minx with a permanent pout because life isn't exciting enough for her, sits in the corner at a party industriously swigging wine out of a bottle till she has to rush off and spew in the toilet. Even more primal is the scene of Agnes' disastrous birthday dinner, arranged by her well-meaning but clueless parents, where no-one shows up except a sour girl in a wheelchair who's contemptuously referred to as a 'pretend friend.' (The cruelty of this is hilariously realistic: the characters are vile enough to love.) This is the first feature directed by Lukas Moodysson: it's obviously cheaply made, and his rough technique can look almost artless, but the roving camera and free use of the zoom lens let him capitalise on the expressive faces of his two heroines - which really tell the whole story. My only qualm about the film relates to the hapless boys who play a secondary role in the plot, a couple of mumbling boofheads who have no idea how to talk to girls and spend their time bragging about their mobile phones. This is another accurate piece of observation, but - especially coming from a male director - the pseudo-feminist satire is rather too easy. At times it seems like the implied message is that heterosexual romance is for dreary 'normal' people, while being queer is funky and liberating - which, no matter who propounds it, is a dubious fantasy at best."
Jake Wilson

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

SHOW ME LOVE (MA)
(aka Fucking Amal)
(Sweden)

CAST: Alexandra Dahlstrom, Rebecka Liljeberg, Erica Carlson

DIRECTOR: Lukas Moodysson

PRODUCER: Lars Jonsson

SCRIPT: Lukas Moodysson

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ulf Brantas

EDITOR: Michal Leszczylowski, Bernahrd Winkler

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Heidi Saikkonen, Lina Strand

RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Potential Films

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 21, 2000







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