Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Pressing Situation

Turn Me On, Dammit!       WWW Score: 80%

'My Tutor', 'Mischief', 'Malibu Bikini Shop' - if you spent your formative years in the '80s as some of us did, teen sex comedies were gloriously inescapable. Heck, Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp got their starts in the things.

But amongst the torrent of all that testosterone, not a one of those "films" went the unconventional route - portraying girls as well, the horny ones.

It took 20-plus years but we finally have the maidenly response in the indie film form of 'Turn Me On, Dammit!', a Norwegian flick that showcases - shock of shocks - a sexually frustrated female.

Set in Skoddeheimen, AKA The Middle of Nowhere, Norway, we meet Alma (a memorable Helene Bergsholm), a 15-year-old who prefers paid phone sex to posting on her Facebook page. The object of her physical desire, a lad named Artur (Matias Myren), has inklings of Alma's interest and decides to move things along by showing off his - for lack of a better term - "thingy".

Bring on 'The Scarlet Letter' scenario as Alma suddenly finds herself outcast from her schoolmates over her allegations - and Artur's denial - of his pressing interest. Alma's best friend, Saralou (Malin Bjorhovde), has no choice but to jump on the so-called "Dick-Alma" train with Saralou's sister, Ingrid (Beate Stofring), quite envious of Artur's affection toward Alma.

Director Jannicke Systad Jacobsen (nothing you've ever seen) competently captures the awkwardness we all felt as teens and it's made that much more impressive considering the majority of her cast had never set foot in front of a camera before.

Approaching teen sexuality from the girl's point of view is a pretty radical move (leave it to foreign film) but it feels organic in the hands of Jacobsen, who has delivered an amusing, non-puerile diversion from the typical teenage sex dreck.