Show me Love (1998)
(Aka Fucking Amal)
Director: Lukas Moodysson
Cast: Alexandra Dahlstrom, Rebecca Liljeberg
A small town in Sweden and Agnes, whom is about to turn sixteen, is in trouble. She is in love, which is what is causing the trouble. She has recently moved to town and as of yet has not made any new friends. She is in love with Elin, considered by the school, including her own sister, to be the school slut, but considered by Agnes to be very desirable.
The school has a notion that Agnes may be a lesbian, and this in part, is why she has made no friends. Agnes has a huge crush on Elin, but the only person or thing that knows about this is her computer!
Elin, bored and looking to get high drags her sister Jessica to Agnes’ birthday party which no one else, except the girl from school, who is in a wheelchair, has bothered to attend.
Elin gets drunk and makes a bet with her sister that she will kiss Agnes, as a joke. Her sister agrees to the bet, so Elin does so, wins her bet, but is eventually consumed by guilt and confusion after doing so. Soon after this Agnes attempts to suicide, when suddenly Elin unexpectedly turns up to apologize, not knowing about Agnes’ dance with death.
Agnes and Elin that night try to run away together, as they find this town so boring, and want to be somewhere else together. So they endeavour to hitch a ride. But after a very passionate moment in the back of the drivers’ car they trundle back to Amal to face the boredom and the criticism. And after some stumbled and painfully drawn out communication between the two, they decide to throw all caution to the wind, and say, “Fuck you” to the prejudiced environment of their school. And literally walk out of the closet together.
A wonderful comedy/drama, well observed and with wonderfully acted scenes of teenage purgatory. The cast of newcomers does a great job of making you feel what a real boring and traumatizing teenage existence is like. Waiting around with not much to do. Sitting around while your boyfriends Freudianly compare the sizes of their mobile phones. Waiting for adulthood to arrive so you can do whatever you wish. So you can chose whomever you wish as your lover. Waiting for the confusion that all the emotions a teenager has to come to terms with, to stop, so you know which way is up.
One of the first thoughts that Elin has of lesbianism is that she may become one because it may be less boring! That she is so stuck for excitement, and all the guys around are so lifeless. Being a lesbian has got to be better than being so bored, than being so anesthetized by the local boys. This is one of the craziest reasons for changing ones sexuality that I have ever heard of! But of course Elin also tries, hilariously, to get high on her mother heartburn tablets. So it seems to be a sort of try anything routine. Try anything to release the boredom. Try anything to put some life into this dead little town. But this is just my reaction to a ludicrous proposition for solving a problem that millions of teenagers have to go through, hating their lives that is, not confusion of sexuality.
Other than this one minor peeve of mine the film is quite wonderful, and the outcome quite pleasing. I just hope that more people go to see the film, and will not ignore it because it’s main characters are gay. It is a wonderful film and pain that is caused by love is universal. It does not matter whether you are straight, a lesbian or a homosexual. It still hurts as much, and no one of these three can say that their pain is greater than any of the others’. Of course the film will attract a sizable lesbian audience, which is fine, but a shame, as it is primarily a wonderful love story, which everyone should see, and secondly it is a film about lesbianism. But then again Cinema Paradiso (1989) is a wonderful love story and how many people of lesbian or homosexual persuasion ignore it because it is a “Heterosexual” love story?
Review by Giovanni Pistachio, Giovanni can be contacted at: –
© Owned Giovanni Pistachio.