While watching the delightful Norwegian film Turn me on, goddamit I couldn’t help but think back to another recent and unexpected delight – Easy A. Alma (Helen Bergsholm) is a 15-year-old stuck in a dead end Norwegian town. There is nothing for kids to do except go to school and deal with their raging hormones. Alma gets herself off by spending a lot of time chatting on a phone sex line, so much that she and the operator — Sven — are on a first name basis. Alma in no uncertain terms fully admits to her mother when confronted with the enormous phone bill that she is just plain horny. Of course it was in Norwegian, but it was stated plain out as a fact. And that was a breath of fresh air because I can’t remember the last time a girl declared her horniness onscreen when she wasn’t immediately shamed by someone or everyone.
In an ironic twist, the gorgeous blonde Alma has become the social pariah because the boy she likes Artur (Matias Myren) poked her fully clothed body with his willy at a party. It wasn’t done in a predatory way, it was done in a teenage, akward way. Being a bit drunk and a bit excited, she tells her friends and the lip gloss wearing Ingrid (Beate Stoefring) refuses to believe her and commences the full destruction of Alma’s reputation. Her long road to redemption is helped along by her friend Saralou who happens to also be Ingrid’s dark haired misfit of a sister. Saralou (Malin Bjorhovde) reminded me of Janeane Garafolo back in the days when she was my favorite onscreen rebel.
Director Jannike Systad Jacobsen makes a great feature debut (she has made documentaries). She is able to show us girls who are real, rebellious, questioning and yes horny, and probably because she is a woman she manages to do that without making the girls into sluts. Wish more American movies had the guts to show us the true stories of girls as they come of age.
Here is a short interview I did with the director following the premiere. I know that it is quite dark. It’s the best I could do.