I found this Norwegian coming-of-age comedy film incredibly funny and relatable. If you’re bored of the classic commercial approach to this subject, that’s more geared towards making horny teenagers laugh and say wow, this movie will be very refreshing. Based on Olaug Nilssen’s novel of the same name, it’s about a 15-year-old girl and her experiences in a small town of Skoddeheimen. As soon as the movie started, I felt an immediate connection with everything that was happening on the screen. I also grew up in a relatively small town and know all too well about the troubles of teenage angst that our poor protagonist was going through. Being a teenager can really be a crappy age, although it is so intensely both exhilarating and boring that it’s almost indescribable. Luckily, we all go through it, so we can relate. With great cinematography, showing us the bleak and so lush Norwegian countryside in such a way that you too feel repressed by parents and forgotten by the society, this movie comes as a complete package.
I just loved the direct approach to humor here, it was very honest and edgy, especially when you consider that this is a movie about teens and sex. In today’s world of porno sites and smartphones where your average teen girl or boy has probably already seen all the sexual acts and practices, it’s with sorrow that you watch times of magazines and sexy phone calls. I just wished they added even more funny situations and gags because they are just so damn funny. Especially with such good performances from all these young actors. The empathy is real and as I was watching some of the scenes all the clumsy events from my coming-of-age (or should I say cuming-of-age) just kept popping out. If you’re watching this with someone, you can also discuss the differences in approaches, sexual repression and all the other fun subjects that this movie explores.
Meet Alma, a 15-year-old girl who just started to feel her sexual urges and is having trouble controlling them. She’s living with her mother in a small town in Norway where almost nothing happens and although the setting looks almost idyllic with lots of beautiful meadows and lush forests it’s a teenagers’ living nightmare. However, one night at a party, her secret crush Artur decides to stir things up making things even more complicated for both of them…
The casting for this movie took place in a small town and most of the actors had no prior experience in acting. This gave the movie a very authentic vibe without making it more awkward than it should be. After all, this is a movie about teenagers, there has to be a certain level of awkwardness present. As it usually happens with these masterpieces, all the stars aligned and I can’t find anything that I wanna bitch about. I mean, for fucks’ sake, even the run-time is just under seventy minutes along with a great score! It successfully avoided that crappy and pretentious way all the indie movies are made these days and opted out for a more traditional approach that by itself created a very interesting contrast with the nature of the movie.
And when you consider that there is some nudity here with scenes that are a bit on the edge but still very much on point and necessary, you feel that they simply couldn’t make something like this in Hollywood. With snappy editing and awesome characters Turn Me On, Dammit! is the best European coming of age movie that I have seen. And if you’re looking to continue your adventures in European cinema, I recommend a similar movie that’s more of a teen comedy, but still very funny and with an exclamation mark at the end of the title: Mädchen Mädchen! AKA Girls on Top (2011).
Director: Jannicke Systad Jacobsen
Writers: Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, Olaug Nilssen
Cast: Helene Bergsholm, Malin Bjørhovde, Beate Støfring, Matias Myren, Julia Bache-Wiig, Julia Schacht, Arthur Berning