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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Okay love story, it's been done better (spoilers)
on December 12, 2012
There were a couple things I like about this movie. One, that the lesbian character is in a relationship. Way too many of these straight-woman-married/engaged/in-a-relationship stories have the lesbian hanging out in an isolated world where, of course, she MUST convert a straight woman to her ways in order to have a lover. By taking that factor out, we can more easily believe Frida and Mia like each other, because they like each other. It's not because they are the only two possible people for each other in a straight world or the lesbian must 'convert' someone or be alone. Which is my second winning thing about the movie, Mia's bisexuality as a factor. Once that "comes out", it adds a layer to things that again helps makes this less about 'the only two that could must be" and two people who chose each other because they want each other.
Only, in my opinion, this comes out WAY too late in the film. Life is complicated, but film's should unfold in a linear fashion where the viewer can justify character's actions along the way and if you show me a woman having sex (and seeming to enjoy it) with her man and then half way through the film have herself throw herself at a woman - then damn near run away from it. I'm still thinking she's a woman who's thought herself straight up to now and this 'new' emotion is causing conflict, fine, I'm on that journey with the character. In fact, the character even SAYS as much to Frida. Then to suddenly 'cheat' me and say 'hey, I've actually known I might be bisexual for awhile' feels like just that, a cheat. I shouldn't have to re-watch the movie with the intent of redefining that character journey. There are twist and there are cheats, this just felt like a cheat. My example of a lesbian movies that pulled off the questioning female well 'Loving Annabelle' - as much as that was about the build to a love scene it at least was a logical build to a a love scene. It set up a character reluctant to deal with conflicts in her perception of her own sexuality really early in the film with simple visual clues to a pre-existing relationship, so when this good-girl teacher finally breaks down and sleeps with her female student, I buy it.
The thing that really turned me off about this film and made me reluctant to root for the 'couple' was the lack of respect for existing relationships. To have the feelings and walk the fine line of what to do with them is one thing - and great dramatic tension. To throw other people under the bus because there's a jones in your crotch for someone else is another. Kill me, shoot me, but i think 'Imagine, Me, & You' did this particular bit about a thousand times better as did the movie 'When Night is Falling'. In 'Imagine', in addition to developing a relationship between the characters for me to root for, I freakin' loved Heck. I didn't want him hurt and I respected Luce, because she didn't want to hurt him either. In 'When Night is Falling' the out lesbian Petra is aggressive in putting her interest for the other woman out there, but respects whatever line she draws in the sand (to a point). But she also has NO relationship with the character's boyfriend. So while there is an affair present there, as in this film. Her mother isn't marrying the other character's father (as in Kyss Mig) or they haven't hung out and had dinner together (as in Imagine Me & You). She just met someone and she likes her. As for the Camille, who believes she's straight, she has enough of a layered conflict about her sexuality and her relationship that I give her some rope on eventually cheating on her boyfriend.
Frida not only had no issue with seducing her future Step-Father's daughter, she threw her girlfriend under the bus. And she'd had a longer relationship with the father than she had with Mia. Yet, she aggressively pursues Mia after that first kiss without reluctance despite having a woman at home and the stress it might put on her mother's relationship with Mia's father, who she allegedly likes. I never got over thinking Frida was a jerk for the way she treated those characters. So much so, I didn't feel a bit sorry for her when things went bad with Mia. And poor Tim. So he was picky about where they lived and had some grand opinions on there wedding. The dude wasn't a bad guy and it seemed like the movie wanted me to believe he was. Yeah, he gets aggressive once in bed, but he backs off when he realizes she's not into it. Because he's desperate and knows he's losing the woman he's invested years with (seven if I remember correctly), yeah he's pushing some angles. He's desperate - just like Frida's girlfriend - to save his relationship. Again, I now like both Elin and Tim MORE than Frida and Mia.
Also, if Frida and mom and new step-dad were all thrilled to have Tim around, why wasn't Elin hanging out with the fam? He obviously doesn't mind that Frida is gay as she isn't his daughter, again they blatantly say this in the film. So if lovers are being invited to the table and Frida and step-dad get along so well, Elin's absence seems weird once we know she exist. Another slap in the face viewer 'cheat' early in the film is not revealing this lover exist earlier in the film. And what was the point of not even speaking Elin's name? Hiding Frida's sexuality until later in the film? She's practically undressing Mia with her eyes in the first two seconds, attraction, I get it. She likes girls. There's no value in hiding the girlfriend from the viewer, even if you hide it from Mia so she can have her 'so you like girls moment'. Also once you find out Mia is aware of her own bisexuality, all these moments feel a little like lies targeted at the viewer. I bought sexual confusion in 'Loving Annabelle' (thin as plot was there) way more than I bought it here.
The two women the film wanted me to root for were such horrible unfeeling people to their lovers in this film, the people and relationship I found myself rooting for was the one between the parents. That stood the greatest test and showed far more character. Oskar was a total plot device that never was properly developed. We never learn how he feels about anything. Little pre-pubescent 'H' in Imagine Me & You was at least important to the plot and had thoughts, feelings, and reactions to everything. The father-daughter relationship in Kyss Mig also failed to have a satisfying conclusion, beyond 'okay, so my daughter's bisexual'. The complicated emotional layers and divorce issues get lost in the haze of 'will these two characters get together' which at the point, I don't care if they do, because they've both been such horrible people to their lovers and too extraordinarily selfish with little too redeem them.