Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
on 4 April 2015
This is a slight film but it's quirky and delightful. It deals with that awkward period of life we all go through and asks: What do we do in adolescence when the hormones are raging and the mood swings are in full swing? Don't answer because the question is rhetorical and we know what we do — or did.
Alma, aged 15, is in full thrall. Her urges are running riot through her brain and body and she's at their mercy, which is non-existent. Tortured by pleasure, she is learning to become adult.
She lives in a place she hates, a nowhere berg in the Norwegian north where nothing exciting ever happens. On the school bus each day she flips off the highway sign to the town (Skoddeheimen, pop.: close to zero) as she passes it, the raised middle finger part of the choreography of irreverence that sustains her. Rebellion is good, she intuits, when nothing else is going on.
She has heard of love but doesn't have a boyfriend to develop it with and practice on. Instead, she runs up massive phone bills with calls to a sex chat room in Oslo, paying to have a young man with vivid vocabulary talk dirty to her. Flat on her back on her bedroom floor she holds the handy phone in one hand and keeps the other hand trembling between her legs. She also collects porn magazines and naughty pictures on the net. Thanks to these delights she gets quite carried away with life while her single-mum mother sits in the kitchen and pretends not to hear what she's hearing and hopes the neighbours are the same or gone for the day.
But luckily for all concerned some odd chivalry still exists in the world. There's a party after school one evening at the youth club which Alma reluctantly goes to, the reluctance related to a complete lack of interesting boys her age or older who go to these parties. They're provincial boys with no experience and imagination in the fine art of loving, unlike her Oslo phone partner who routinely sticks his tongue into every crevice, crease and opening of her body with verbal ease and dexterity. But she goes, she's at the party, and we're glad she is because something out of the ordinary happens there.
Alma is bored, as always, trapped as she is in her town, school, age, body, life. She leaves the party and goes outside for a smoke or beer. Artur, a clumsy, self-conscious, tongue-tied boy follows her. She stands next to a wall and he sidles over to her.
Conversation for Artur, or what little there is of it, is actually a cover for what he has uncovered — his willie. It's there in his hand now and is pointing at Alma. And, we are made to notice, it isn't soft. And furthermore, since it's already there instead of in his underpants, he decides to do the sensible thing with it. Wordlessly, he pokes her with it. Right there in her thigh a few times. But that's it, the extent of his romancing. Having reached the limit of his courtship powers, he zips his fly up and goes back inside.
Now the drama turns and scandal ensues. Alma tells her girlfriends what Artur did with his willie to her but nobody believes her and Artur, no longer so chivalrous, cowardly denies it.
How will she, if she can, survive the scandal? With a great deal of grace, I think. In the end even Artur thinks so as well.
The beauty of the world is that we can laugh at these things. More tenderness and forgiveness, less judgement and morality, and the world becomes a better place for all, including randy teenagers.
The film gets five stars because it made me feel good and let me laugh at myself and at my own adolescence, distant in time now though it is.