Turn Me on, Dammit! | Movie review
A coming-of-age movie is the most lovable of recent Norwegian imports.
Already censored in Alabama just for its English-translation title, this buoyant, zesty Norwegian film opens mid-masturbation—with the dog watching. Our nearly-16 heroine, Alma (instant star Helene Bergsholm), is a drop-dead gorgeous blond willow twig with lazy cat eyes, a sly smile and killer incisors, whose only problem in the world is everything, beginning with unquenchable horniness. Her hyperactive fantasy life fills the movie with rapturous (but never fantastical) sexual scenarios, when she’s not calling phone-sex services or squirming on coin rolls.
Life in her nowhere town—where you have to walk or bus up long mountain roads to get anywhere—relegates Alma and her friends to dead-end chitchat, beer and hash cigars, until the inarticulate boy Alma jerks off to jabs her with his uncircumcised johnson, precipitating a scandal. Respectful of its characters and never straining for a laugh, director Jannicke Systad Jacobsen’s movie serenely limns a world all its own, and its affection for teenage sexual folly is contagious. (It helps that Bergsholm’s limpid presence is its own kind of drug.) Easily the most lovable of the recent rash of Norwegian imports, Turn Me on is also the best film about teenagers since Gerardo Naranjo’s I’m Gonna Explode—smart and short and sweet as can be.