Friday, December 9, 2011

Turn Me On, Goddammit (2011)

Turn Me On, Goddammit • Få meg på, for faen (2011)
Turn Me On, Goddammit • Få meg på, for faen (2011)

Genre: Comedy
Director: Jannicke Systad Jacobsen
Starring: Helene Bergsholm, Henriette Steenstrup, Malin Bjørhovde, Matias Myren, Beate Støfring
Language: Norwegian
Duration: 76 min.
Rating: 7.5  

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.

Turn Me On, Goddammit • Få meg på, for faen (2011)

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

Turn Me On, Goddammit • Få meg på, for faen (2011)

Turn Me On, Goddammit • Få meg på, for faen (2011)

Turn Me On, Goddammit • Få meg på, for faen (2011)

Turn Me On, Goddammit • Få meg på, for faen (2011)

Turn Me On, Goddammit • Få meg på, for faen (2011)

Turn Me On, Goddammit • Få meg på, for faen (2011)

Turn Me On, Goddammit • Få meg på, for faen (2011)

Turn Me On, Goddammit • Få meg på, for faen (2011)


Ian Montgomery said...

Okay, I admit to reading this only because of the attention-grabbing title.

But I like the review and the way this movie sounds. I'm tired of watching unrealistic movies about teenagers and will openly welcome something like this no matter how uncomfortable the depicted situations can be. It makes me wonder how it will all end for the characters but I'd rather wait to find out.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Good to have you back.  No it's more in line with the modern meaning of comedy.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Hehe you know I'm not going to answer that.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yeah there are a lot of good Scandinavian directors right now.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yeah it is a good marketing title.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

It's not a film full of gags and slapstick humor, but it is quite funny.  YouTube the trailer for it and you might get a better idea.  I didn't embed it in the post for PG reasons.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yeah definitely worth checking out if you get the chance.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I don't know if they sent the wrong film, because I doubt either one would have a chance at the Oscar.  But I did enjoy this one a lot better than Happy Happy.

Natural One said...

It sounds interesting

Hoi-Ming Ng said...

In the end does she leave with the Boy, off to find their fortunes in the wide world? I'd watch it to find out.

d_4 said...

But.. is it funny? The summary doesn't really spark anything for me, and while it does seem to be well made, I feel like it might let me down. You know? Like, it's created well, but does it get caught between trying to be funny and being a general drama? It sounds like one, like a drama with some funny parts. Either or I'm sure it's watchable, but for different moods.

Phil S. said...

Good to come back to such a wonderful title.  Is this 'comdey' like I think or 'comedy' in the more theatrical representation of the word?

Max Covill said...

The title of this movie draws a lot of attention. I was looking into it, but I'm not sure I'd enjoy it. There's other coming of age films I need to catch up with (for example: F*cking Åmål)

Michael Parent said...

I'm sold out to Scandinavian Cinema and I think the plot looks pretty interesting I'll catch this one in 2012!

The Angry Lurker said...

What a great title and sounds like a great story!

NeverTooEarlyMP said...

I remember hearing about this one when it won at Tribeca, and wondered if it might end up being the submission for the Oscars. I noticed that you gave this one a higher score than Happy Happy. Do you think they sent the wrong film, or is it a matter of one not being the right type of film for the Academy?

Ruth Richards said...

Looks like a really cool film, I'll have to keep an eye out for it here!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

 Thanks for the comment Ian.  It really is a nice change of pace over the same old stories and setups.

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