Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Turn Me On, Dammit!

Quirky Norwegian teen comedy makes something out of (nearly) nothing.

March 28, 2012

-By Jordan Mintzer


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1323318-Turn_Me_On_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

It’s no easy task to make a compelling movie about a small-town Norwegian girl and her chronic masturbation problems, but writer-director Jannicke Systad Jacobsen manages to do just that with her aptly titled debut feature, Turn Me On, Dammit!. Winner of the screenplay award at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, this deadpan teen dramedy features a fine lead performance from newcomer Helene Bergsholm, and despite its low-budget production values, has its heart—and hand—in the right place.

Based on a novel by Olaug Nilssen, the film is set in the remote mountain village of Skoddenheim, whose population (per onscreen appearances) seems to be about 12. The shy and gorgeous Alma (Bergsholm) is one of a few teen townies trying to get whatever kicks they can out of the place, which provides them with an adequate supply of beer and hash, but not much else.

In Alma’s case, such kicks consist of pleasuring herself while fantasizing about handsome young neighbor Artur (Matias Myren), as well as about anyone else who crosses her path, including a phone-sex operator and her boss at the nearby supermarket (where she makes special use of a roll of coins from the cash register). Yet when Alma has an extremely awkward sexual run-in with Artur during a party, the event winds up turning her into the town outcast, kicking off an adolescent rebellion that won’t stop until the truth comes out.

With a straight-faced comic sensibility that recalls the work of fellow Nordic filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki, Jacobsen manages to mine both humor and tenderness out of situations, which would be excruciating for any teenager, wherever they live. And while all of Skoddenheim seems worried that “there’s something abnormal about Alma,” it’s clear she’s experiencing the same growing pains as her peers but is just more honest about them, more in touch with them, than they are.

Although it’s well-observed and acted, Turn Me On is not without the usual tics present in many an indie debut, including witty voiceovers, constant pop music, quirky photomontages and other such winks at the camera. These, along with shaky HD cinematography, take some of the pleasure away from what’s otherwise a heartwarming, occasionally hilarious portrayal of one girl’s quest for satisfaction.
The Hollywood Reporter


Film Review: Turn Me On, Dammit!

Quirky Norwegian teen comedy makes something out of (nearly) nothing.

March 28, 2012

-By Jordan Mintzer


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1323318-Turn_Me_On_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

It’s no easy task to make a compelling movie about a small-town Norwegian girl and her chronic masturbation problems, but writer-director Jannicke Systad Jacobsen manages to do just that with her aptly titled debut feature, Turn Me On, Dammit!. Winner of the screenplay award at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, this deadpan teen dramedy features a fine lead performance from newcomer Helene Bergsholm, and despite its low-budget production values, has its heart—and hand—in the right place.

Based on a novel by Olaug Nilssen, the film is set in the remote mountain village of Skoddenheim, whose population (per onscreen appearances) seems to be about 12. The shy and gorgeous Alma (Bergsholm) is one of a few teen townies trying to get whatever kicks they can out of the place, which provides them with an adequate supply of beer and hash, but not much else.

In Alma’s case, such kicks consist of pleasuring herself while fantasizing about handsome young neighbor Artur (Matias Myren), as well as about anyone else who crosses her path, including a phone-sex operator and her boss at the nearby supermarket (where she makes special use of a roll of coins from the cash register). Yet when Alma has an extremely awkward sexual run-in with Artur during a party, the event winds up turning her into the town outcast, kicking off an adolescent rebellion that won’t stop until the truth comes out.

With a straight-faced comic sensibility that recalls the work of fellow Nordic filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki, Jacobsen manages to mine both humor and tenderness out of situations, which would be excruciating for any teenager, wherever they live. And while all of Skoddenheim seems worried that “there’s something abnormal about Alma,” it’s clear she’s experiencing the same growing pains as her peers but is just more honest about them, more in touch with them, than they are.

Although it’s well-observed and acted, Turn Me On is not without the usual tics present in many an indie debut, including witty voiceovers, constant pop music, quirky photomontages and other such winks at the camera. These, along with shaky HD cinematography, take some of the pleasure away from what’s otherwise a heartwarming, occasionally hilarious portrayal of one girl’s quest for satisfaction.
The Hollywood Reporter
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Amira & Sam
Film Review: Amira & Sam

A potentially intriguing interracial love story between an ex-soldier and Middle Eastern lass feels much too forced and contrived. More »

The Devils Violinist
Film Review: The Devil's Violinist

The latest classical-music legend to have his life trashed–again—by a cheaply sensationalistic movie, this famed fiddler deserved way better. More »

Backstreet Boys
Film Review: Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of

The ’90s boy band dusts itself off for a self-congratulatory, and not especially revelatory, career retrospective on the occasion of their 20th anniversary tour. More »

Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts 2015
Film Review: The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2015: Documentary

The long shadow and in-your-face reality of mortality shadows nearly all the entries in this year’s powerful, draining Oscar-nominated documentary short films program. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Project Almanac
Film Review: Project Almanac

Saying this underbaked Chronicle knockoff is meant for teenagers is an insult to the intelligence of teenagers everywhere. More »

The Wedding Ringer
Film Review: The Wedding Ringer

Intermittently amusing bro-comedy trifle that confirms Kevin Hart's talent, though not his taste in material. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here