Tobi and I saw the gay-themed comedy/drama Patrik, Age 1.5 this week. This Swedish film had received very mediocre reviews, so we made sure to go see it during the discount show so that we weren't too invested in the outcome. :- )
Sometimes I think how well you like a film is related to your prior expectations. If you go in thinking you won't like it, you are often favorably impressed that it was better than you thought. If you expect it to be great, it's often a disappointment. True to form, this poorly reviewed movie surprised us. Tobi and I really, really liked it.
The story is about a married male couple, Sven and Göran, who have been cleared to adopt a child. They are expecting a toddler but bureaucratic mix-ups cause them to get a homophobic 15-year-old juvenile delinquent instead.
The twists and turns of plot that occur after the initial mix-up aren't particularly original, but the film has many other charms. For one thing, the acting is a delight. There are a number of characters, and all of them have colorful parts. There wasn't a single actor in the film who showed anything other than mastery of his or her part. The various technical aspects, such as cinematography, editing and soundtrack were top notch. The script, despite its many weaknesses, was entertaining and at times even touching. And, of course, the details of Swedish culture are interesting, too (Sven and Göran joke that they could take a baby of any nationality except Danish).
If you can bring yourself to forgive the less-than-plausible premise, this movie really has a lot to offer in terms of characters, humor and appreciation for the fact that loving families come in many flavors. If you can't catch it at your local independent theater, I'm sure the DVD will be available soon.
Here's the trailer: