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Turn Me On, Dammit!

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Turn Me On, Dammit!
Written and directed by Jannicke Systad Jacobsen
New Yorker Films
Opens March 30, Angelika and Elinor Bunin Munroe film centers

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Set in the Norwegian boonies, Jannicke Systad Jacobsen's first fiction feature (based on Olaug Nilssen's 2005 novel) introduces its 15-year-old protagonist, Alma (Helene Bergsholm), with her hand down her pants, furiously coming as she listens to a phone-sex operator. Yet the opening scene's promising boldness is soon undermined by cutaway shots of the family dog looking on puzzled at the frenzy of self-pleasure; like its title, Turn Me On, Dammit! is a jokey pseudo-provocation. Horny fantasist Alma becomes an outcast once she tells her friends that a crush "poked me with his dick" at a party. When not asking audience members to figure out what's in Alma's head and what isn't, Systad Jacobsen, working with a cast of mostly first-time actors, reveals her strengths with the more fully conceived supporting characters. Ingrid (Beate Støfring), responsible for making Alma a pariah, has a great moment singing "Oh, Happy Day" at choir practice; the mean girl's sister, Sara (Malin Bjørhovde), writes letters to inmates on death row in Texas. More of a symbol of frustrated, slandered teenage lust than an actual person, Alma—so pale she's almost translucent—is devoid of these specificities. When she runs away to Oslo for a day, I wished that she could travel back in time to another Scandi capital, Stockholm, to join the fully realized adolescent-girl misfits of Lukas Moodysson's 1998 Show Me Love.

 
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1 comments
Jsmith
Jsmith

This hard-hitting review is similarly undermined by it's minimalist approach to providing any information about the movie. It doesn't give us enough to understand why it might actually be bad, or if there is anything positive about it. The review is similarly devoid of these specificities.

 

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