Åmål is a small insignificant town where nothing ever happens, where the latest trends are out of date when they get there. Young Elin has a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to guys, but the fact is that she is inexperienced in that matter. Another girl in her school, Agnes, is in love with her but is too shy to do anything about it. For a number of reasons, Elin ends up at Agnes’ birthday party as the only guest. They have a girl’s night out together but after that Elin desperately avoids Agnes, refusing to even consider her own feelings toward Agnes.
That scene in the car. That scene brought back every hope and dream I could remember as a 15 year old in love with a girl in my class I would never have. It was a validation of all those wonderful daydreams you had at that age and the hope that sprung from them. It was a moment that would send that pang in your heart to heights it’s never known.
You’re never in love like you are at that age – and when you watch a film like this where you can become so completely involved in the life and emotions of a girl like Agnes – and see her greatest hope realized after a day of humiliation and pain – your heart soars. In fact, I can’t think of a moment in a movie that is as perfect as this one.
There’s a universal quality to the feelings this film evokes that will pull in everyone who has a heart. I’m many years beyond high school – and of the opposite sex of the two protagonists in the film – and I still can’t help but identify completely with this movie. Much of this has to do with the two actresses in the lead roles. Where did this director find these two phenomenal actresses? Rebecca Liljeberg has such a quiet and powerful range. Watching her react to other characters is one of the great pleasures of this film. Alexandra Dahlström takes a role that, in anyone else’s hands would be either shallow or unbearable, and makes a character so complete, beautifully vulnerable and full of life you can understand why everyone loves her. These two girls – they are so wonderful, expressive and real you just want to hug them.
I saw this film when it came to New York, loved it then when i saw it once during what seemed like only a two week run, then recently remembered it and rented it. I have seen it 5 times since and I’m sure I’ll see it many times more. It is a film that transcends gender, sexual orientation and age.
And for all you English language folks out there (I’m one of you), the subtitles will not be a drawback. In fact, watching this film in it’s native language brings you even closer to these characters when you realize how familiar life is as a human being, no matter where we’re from. How much we all have in common when it comes to matters of the heart. It’s a nice little extra to be reminded of, since it’s something we sometimes tend to forget.
My praise cannot be more genuine, heartfelt and complete. Get this film. Your day will be made by it. You’ll be telling your friends about it. In a busy life where there’s a lot of distraction, you’ll remember for a moment how wonderful it is to be alive and in love – and how that’s worth everything in the world.
Director: Lukas Moodysson
Writer: Lukas Moodysson
Stars: Alexandra Dahlström, Rebecka Liljeberg, Erica Carlson
Country: Sweden | Denmark
Release Date: 23 October 1998 (Sweden)
Also Known As: Show Me Love
Filming Locations: Sweden
Format : Matroska
Format version : Version 4
File size : 2.25 GiB
Duration : 1 h 25 min
Overall bit rate mode : Variable
Overall bit rate : 3 768 kb/s