Director: Jannicke Systad Jacobsen
Starring: Helene Bergsholm, Henriette Steenstrup, Malin Bjørhovde, Matias Myren, Beate Støfring
Duration: 76 min.
Alma is a small-town teen with a big imagination. Horny and looking for love, she has only her lively imagination and a kindly phone sex operator to ameliorate her frustratingly lonely and chaste life. But Alma's active fantasy world and even more active libido only seem to get her into trouble.
Turn Me On, Goddammit is the debut feature from Norwegian documentary filmmaker Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, based on a novel by Olaug Nilssen. It premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, winning the award for Best Narrative Screenplay.
Yet another in a long line of quirky indie teen comedies that seem to be all the rage these days, this one stands out from the pack with a refreshing point of view. Helene Bergsholm stars as Alma, a small town 15-year-old whose runaway hormones and hyperactive imagination get the better of her. When she's not racking up her mother's phone bill on a phone sex line, she's fantasizing about encounters with Artur (Matias Myren), the boy everyone in town likes. After an awkward maybe-real, maybe-imagined encounter with Artur at a local party that nobody believes happened, Alma is ostracized by her friends and the rest of her school, and she finds herself quickly isolated and in search of a way out of her hick town.
I can see why this won a screenplay award, the characters are well written, more than just the usual stock highschoolers that these films often rely on; and their interactions are believable, they speak and act like real teens do, as opposed to the overly exaggerated or precocious teens we are accustomed to seeing in comedy films. It also totally captures the feeling of being stuck in a small town where everyone knows everyone and you can't wait to graduate and get the hell out. Most importantly it also gets inside Alma's head and thoroughly explores her thoughts, desires, and motivations. Its rare to see a film like this based around a genuine well rounded female adolescent character. The development is even more remarkable considering how short the running time is.
This is an impressive feature debut from Jacobsen who directs her mostly amateur cast with a light hand, providing us with a fresh, enjoyable, and funny new entry to this otherwise crowded genre. I am definitely looking forward to seeing whatever she comes up with next.
— Bonjour Tristesse