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  Fucking Amal Teenage Kicks
Year: 1998
Director: Lukas Moodysson
Stars: Alexandra Dahlström, Rebecka Liljeberg, Erica Carlson, Mathias Rust, Stefan Hörberg, Ralph Carlsson, Maria Hedborg
Genre: Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: In the quiet Swedish suburb of Amal, the least popular girl in school falls in love with the most popular girl in school.

Before he made Together and all those "difficult" dramas, Lukas Moodysson initially gained some international attention with this endearing, angst-ridden tale of teenage love. But if you're looking for hot teen girl-on-girl XXX action, then look elsewhere, buddy, it's not that type of film.

What you get is a touching, small-scale story of two young girls: for them, everything is either monumentally boring or crushingly embarrassing, and life seems fraught with personal disasters at every turn. Lonely Agnes (Rebeckah Liljeberg) is suffering with first love and her lack of friends, and Elin (Alexandra Dahlstrom), the centre of attention, is unsatisfied with her dead-end world.

The film doesn't gloss over its painful, bittersweet scenes, such as the one where Agnes' suicide attempt is interrupted by Elin arriving at her window to apologise for kissing her. And the road to true love is a rocky one, as when Elin hooks up with the nice but dull Johan (Mathias Rust - not the bloke who flew his plane into Red Square) because she can't face her feelings for Agnes.

The supporting characters just as well-observed as the main ones, in particular Agnes' well-meaning father and her wheelchair-bound ex-friend. Despite their occasional cruelties and tactlessness, most of the cast remain sympathetic. And there are welcome moments of humour, such as when Elin is grounded for not wearing trousers, or the boys comparing the sizes of their mobile 'phones. Also with: a nice "coming out of the closet" scene (literally) at the end.

Aka: Show Me Love
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Lukas Moodysson  (1969 - )

Swedish writer-director who won international acclaim for his socially-conscious dramas: teenage romance Fucking Amal (aka Show Me Love), commune drama Together and the tragic Lilya 4-Ever. After the harrowing, controversial Hole In My Heart he turned even more experimental with the reviled Container, then the thematically ambitious Mammoth. However, he secured his best reaction in years with his 2013 feminist punk comedy We Are the Best!

 
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