Show Me Love (1998)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Coming-of-Age, Gay & Lesbian Films, Teen Movie  |   Release Date - Oct 15, 1999 (USA)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Denmark , Sweden   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Show Me Love -- the Americanized title of this exemplary coming-of-age story -- might be sweeter, but this film's original title, Fucking Åmål, a cry of desperation against a stifling small town, comes closer to its spirit. A highly believable account of high school life, it presents a world where unkindness begets unkindness and the need to fit in often conflicts with characters' better moral and emotional instincts. First-time director Lukas Moodysson's decision to shoot in an almost Dogma-like style only adds to the verisimilitude. The characters are true both to their age -- moody and desperate one moment, childlike the next -- and backgrounds, with the contrast between the two heroines' economically diverse home lives keenly noted. For all the ground-level, documentary-like observations, Moodysson's main concern is a story of thwarted love between two girls, and with extraordinary skill he captures the rush and fear of first love -- when everything seems at stake -- finding sweetness and escape amidst the ennui. Moodysson also earns points for the best use of the music of Foreigner ever put to film.