- Director: Lisa Ahscan
- Genre: Drama
- Cert: 12A
- Details: Sweden / 83mins
You wait ages for an arthouse gay coming of age drama and two come along at once. And both of them crap. Coming hot on the heels of last week's disappointing Dutch drama North Sea Texas is this Swedish lesbian outing. And before you get all in a dizzy, boys, this Swedish lesbian teen gymnast movie is not like 'that' at all.
Emma Watson lookalike Mathilda Paradeiser is Emma, a daughter to single parent and older sister to seven-year-old Sara (Lindquist). Emma wants to be on the local voltige team and not just because she has the hots for the blonde bad egg Cassandra (Molin), who knows exactly what she'd doing when she stretches in 'that way' in her bathing suit as Emma watches on. As both girls summon the courage to blurt out their feelings, little Sara fights her dad for a bikini so she will look more grown up when her crush, her teen cousin Sebastian (Vega), comes to babysit.
The poster looks cool. Pasadeiser (now looking like Chloe Sevigny), rifle in hand, stares blankly out at you, daring you to call her something. That's not She-Monkeys, though. That's a different movie altogether and it looks like a better one. You know a movie is moving slowly when you check your watch three times in eighty-three minutes. She-Monkeys is a drab, dull and monotonous flick.
Making her debut, writer-director Lisa Ahscan boasts real restraint and sensitivity in a film that could have been anything but. She does come close to pushing buttons in one awkward scene when Sara dances for Sebastian and asks him to scratch her stomach. It's unclear, though, what Ahscan is saying about Sara's demanding of the leopard-printed bikini and the sexualisation of children. And why Sebastian has to babysit at all. And where's mum and why isn't she mentioned? And why... ah, screw it.
The performances are the best thing going for it – newcomers Molin and Paradeiser are impressive but it's young Lindquist who runs away with the heart of the movie despite being the subplot.
Review by Gavin Burke | 15:46 | Friday 25th May 2012 | Movie Review
What sounds like an obscure nature documentary is anything but in this Swedish story of angsty teenage girls from director Lisa Aschan. The story revolves around Emma, a seemingly normal teenager who falls into some dubious company with the more confident and alluring Cassandra. Together they fend off the attentions of men and compete against each other in a horse-riding school. It's certainly suggested that they're more than friends, though Aschan toys with the idea rather than consummate it. Indeed, she seems to be saying something rather specific about the growing pains of teens and tween. Emma's tweenie sister seemingly wants to grow up faster, evoking some awkward scenes. It's well-acted by its two young leads, but the film drifts aimlessly from one scene to to the next without any real resolution. It's more of a mood piece than a complete film, but watchable all the same.Posted 16:25 | Sat 26th May 2012
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