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Looking for long-term love after an increasingly lonely life of gyms and life with Mom,
This review is from: Teddy Bear (DVD)
We happened upon writer/director Mads Matthiesen's 'Teddy Bear' as part of the 'Film Movement' series. Of the five films from the series that we've watched recently, this one was the stand-out. Real-life bodybuilder turned not-so-bad-at-all actor, Kim Kold, portrays Dennis, looking for long-term love after an increasingly lonely life of gyms and life with Mom. To say Mom is a bit overbearing doesn't come close. The movie's artful juxtaposition is of the hulking, immense physical presence of Dennis vs. his infantilization at the hands of his mother.
After watching the 'success' of an uncle in plucking a bride from Thailand, Dennis furtively sets off to do the same. Matthiesen's sharp eye does great work there capturing the jarring size difference of Dennis vs the slight Thais. The best scene: Dennis, resplendent in new custom sports coat (jauntily paired with shorts) walks down a nightlife district with girls one-third his size throwing themselves at him on offer. There's another scene or two capturing the louche debauchery of the westerner's 'sex holiday.'
Our man Dennis will have none of the that. He's clearly uncomfortable with the scene. You root for him. Ultimately, he finds his prize in the place he feels most at home: the gym. Toi (Lamaiporn Hougaard), the object of Dennis' bashful attention, is winning in her low-key ways. A nice match for Dennis.
Things get excruciating for everyone (including the viewer) when Toi lands in Denmark. Dennis hasn't come clean with his mother on his trip and its outcome. Something's got to give. It's compelling viewing to watch it all come out.
Newcomer Hougaard is wonderful here - a Thai immigrant living in Denmark, Matthiesen plucked her off the street for the role. She's got a nice, natural presence on the screen.