Show Me Love: Adorable Emo Lesbians FTW!
As my readers should know by now, I love me some lesbian movies. So I had to check this movie out when I finally managed to track it down -- I didn't remember its English language title, only knowing its original semi-obscene Swedish title, which I won't mention here in case Hubpages cuts off my advertising again. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I still loved it.
"Show Me Love" revolves around two teenage girls both stuck in the rural town of Amal, where nothing in any way exciting happens. Agnes is a shy and rather mousy girl whose family moved there one and a half years ago, whose only friend is a girl in a wheelchair named Viktoria who she doesn't actually like. Elin, on the other hand, is a popular and beautiful girl who is fully in the throws of teenage angst: she just wants something to HAPPEN in her life, but nothing ever does.
Agnes has a pretty mad on crush on Elin (revealed through her ridiculously emo proto-blog she types up on her computer), but nothing comes of it until Elin and her sister crash Agnes' 16th birthday party and pull a prank on her. However, Elin feels bad and comes back to apologize, and the two hit it off, discovering that they really like each other.
The rest of the movie deals with the girls trying to figure out what this means, mostly revolving around Elin coming to terms with the fact that she's legitimately attracted to Agnes and then finding the courage to come out to her family and friends. Unlike what you might expect from a movie like this, almost all of the movie deals with the coming to terms bit rather than the actual romantic relationship--Elin and Agnes each spend probably 3/4 of their screen times not in each other's company, and the grand majority of the tropes associated with a coming out movie happen largely in the last 10 minutes or so of the film.
However, even though this might make the movie seem oddly paced, it works. There's so much build up to it that those last 10 minutes are pure joy to watch, and include possibly my favorite coming out line ever and probably the best scene ever written revolving around chocolate milk.
As for the characters, I loved Agnes, played by Rebecka Liljeberg. Given that Agnes doesn't talk that much, every facial expression has to mean something, and Liljeberg pulls this off quite well: she's able to express joy, pain, and irritation with scarcely a word. Elin, played by Alexandra Dahlstrom, is also likable, but she takes a bit longer to get used to. This is because Elin is basically the teenager's teenager: flighty, overreacting, irresponsible, and loudmouthed. Really, all of the teen characters act like real teens (i.e. not necessarily in the most likable or mature way), but Elin is one of the most notable because we're with her the most. And her negative traits just make her more positive ones all the more noticeable, when they arrive. One of the things I loved about Elin's character was her tendency, when she needs to express heartfelt emotion, to trip over her words and start babbling: her confession of love to Agnes is easily one of the most adorable ones in film history because of this element.
This film was shot for comparatively little, and the cinematography, which makes it look like the film was shot on a cheap camcorder, does take a little getting used to. Scenes where teens are supposed to be drinking alcohol but are fairly obviously drinking water (presumably because I'm pretty sure the director cast actual teens) are also amusing. But something about the low-budget style is rather charming, once you get used to it. It underlines the heartfelt emotions of the story and makes the whole thing seem more real.
If you can stand teenage characters that actually act like teenagers and the low-budget feel, this film is a hidden gem. Watch this film if you can track it down: it is more than worth it.
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