Release date23 October 1998 (1998-10-23) Featured songsShow Me Love, Adagio in G minor CastAlexandra Dahlström (Elin), Rebecka Liljeberg (Agnes), Mathias Rust (Johan), Erica Carlson (Jessica), Stefan Hörberg (Markus), Josefine Nyberg (Viktoria) Similar moviesKnowing, Shrek the Third, Tremors, Cowboys & Aliens, The Last Stand, Tremors 3: Back to Perfection
Teens Elin (Alexandra Dahlstrom) and Agnes (Rebecca Liljeberg) are schoolmates. Elin is upbeat and popular, while Agnes is morose and friendless. And both girls are very frustrated with life. Elin dreams of fleeing their dull Swedish town. Agnes dreams of Elin. Though Agnes has never acted on her feelings, its widely rumored shes a lesbian. But when Elin kisses Agnes on a cruel dare, it leads to an apology, a growing closeness between the girls and a plan to solve the problems of both.
Show Me love (Swedish: , pronounced [?fak?? o?mo?l]) is a 1998 Swedish film directed by Lukas Moodysson.
The film follows the lives of two seemingly disparate teenage girls who begin a tentative romantic relationship. The film first premiered outside Sweden at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival under its original title. According to Moodysson, the problem with the original title started when the film was Swedens candidate for the Academy Awards, though eventually it was not chosen as a nominee: the Hollywood industry magazine Variety refused to run an advertisement for a film with that title, and thus American distributor Strand Releasing asked for a new title to be chosen. Moodysson took the new title from the song at the end of the film, by Robyn. Distributors in other native English-speaking countries then followed suit.
For writer Moodysson, it was his directorial debut in a full-length film. Starring in the lead roles were Rebecka Liljeberg, as Agnes, and Alexandra Dahlstrom, as Elin. The film received an overwhelmingly positive reception and won four Guldbagge Awards (Swedens official film awards) at the 1999 ceremony. Its international awards include the Teddy award at the 1999 Berlin Film Festival.
The Swedish title refers to the small town of Amal in western Sweden. Only a few scenes were actually filmed in Amal, but these were not included in the final version: the main shooting took place in the nearby town of Trollhattan, location of Film i Vasts (the company that produced the film) film studios.
Åmål is a small insignificant town where nothing ever happens, where the latest trends are out of date when they get there. Young Elin has a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to guys, but the fact is that she has never done *it*. Another girl in her school, Agnes, is in love with her but is too shy to do anything about it. For different reasons, Elin ends up at Agnes' birthday party as the only guest. They have a girl's night out together but after that Elin desperately avoids Agnes, refusing to even consider her own homosexuality.
Two girls, Agnes and Elin, attend school in the small town of Amal in Sweden. Elin is outgoing and popular, but finds her life unsatisfying and dull. Agnes, by contrast, has no real friends and is constantly depressed. Agnes is in love with Elin, but cannot find any way to express it.
Agnes parents worry about their daughters reclusive life, and try to be reassuring. Her mother decides, against Agnes will, to throw a 16th birthday party for her, and Agnes is afraid no one will come. Viktoria, a girl in a wheelchair, shows up and Agnes shouts at her in front of her parents, telling her they are friends only because no one else will talk to them. Agnes, overcome with anger and depression, goes to her room and cries into her pillow shouting that she wishes she was dead, while her father tries to soothe her. Viktoria leaves and Agnes family eats the food made for the party. Elin arrives at Agnes house, mainly as an excuse to avoid going to a different party, where there will be a boy (Johan, played by Mathias Rust) she wants to avoid. Elins older sister, Jessica, who comes with her, dares her to kiss Agnes, who is rumoured to be a lesbian. Elin fulfills the dare, and then runs out with Jessica, only to soon feel guilty for having humiliated Agnes.
After becoming drunk at the other party, Elin gets sick and throws up, while Johan tries to help her and ends up professing his love to her. Elin leaves Johan and the party, only to return to Agnes house to apologize for how she acted earlier. And in doing so, Elin stops Agnes from attempting to commit suicide. She even manages to persuade Agnes to return with her to the other party. On the way, Elin shares her real feelings about being trapped in Amal, and asks Agnes about being a lesbian, and believes that both of their problems could be solved by leaving Amal and going to Stockholm. On impulse, Elin persuades Agnes to hitchhike to Stockholm, a five-hour car journey away. They find a driver who agrees to take them, believing them to be sisters who are visiting their grandmother. It is while sitting in the back seat together that they first kiss for real. The driver sees them and, shocked at the behaviour of the two sisters, orders them to leave the car.
Elin discovers that she is attracted to Agnes, but is afraid to admit it. She proceeds to ignore Agnes and refuses to talk to her. Elins sister Jessica sees that she is in love and pushes her to figure out who it is. To cover the fact that she is in love with Agnes, Elin lies, pretending to be in love with Johan, and loses her virginity during a short-lived relationship with him. Elin eventually admits her feelings at the end of the film, where, after a climactic scene in a school bathroom, they are forced to out their relationship to the entire school. The film ends with Elin and Agnes sitting in Elins bedroom drinking chocolate milk and Elin explaining that she often adds too much chocolate until her milk is nearly black so then she must fill another glass with milk and mix it, and that her sister Jessica often gets mad that she finishes the chocolate. Elin has the last word saying "It makes a lot of chocolate milk. But that doesnt matter."
Alexandra Dahlstrom as Elin Olsson
Rebecka Liljeberg as Agnes Ahlberg
Erica Carlson as Jessica Olsson
Mathias Rust as Johan Hulth
Stefan Horberg as Markus
Josefine Nyberg as Viktoria
Ralph Carlsson as Agnes Father Olof
Maria Hedborg as Agnes Mother Karin
Axel Widegren as Agnes Little Brother Oskar
Jill Ung as Elins and Jessicas Mother Birgitta
The original title of the film, Fucking Amal, refers to the girls feelings about their smalltown home: in a key scene one of the girls shouts in desperation "varfor maste vi bo i fucking javla kuk-Amal?" (which roughly translates to "why do we have to live in fucking Goddamn dick-Amal?"). The title, however, caused problems in other countries, and so alternative, generic names were chosen by local distributors:
Russian: ?????? ??? ?????? (Pokazhi mne lyobov, "show me love")
Even before the film was completed, it created controversy in the town of Amal itself. Local politicians campaigned to get the title of the film changed because they argued that it would show the town in an unfair way, and even undermine the town as an economic centre. Further pressure was brought on the makers of the film, the Film i Vast film studio, who are partly financed by Swedish local authorities, including Amal. However, the local complaints had no effect on the content or release of the film. Since the release of the film the town of Amal has even tried to embrace the publicity generated, despite the fact that the towns name is missing from the English title. Still, in the early 2000s the town founded the pop music festival "Fucking Amal Festival".
Critical and commercial response
The film received the highest audience figures for a Swedish film in 1998-9, with a total audience of 867,576, and a total audience for the whole of Europe of 2,100,000. However, some reports outside Sweden incorrectly stated that in Sweden the film had even outgrossed the Hollywood film Titanic. In fact, Titanic had over twice as many viewers as Show Me Love in Sweden in 1998. Based on 39 reviews collected by the film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 90% of critics gave Show Me Love a positive review. The film is among the top ten of the BFI list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.
The films soundtrack was released through Columbia Records, and consists of songs in English and Swedish language. Swedish band Broder Daniel, who contributed three English language songs to the movie, saw a spike in popularity after the films release. The band also released an EP titled Fucking Amal.
"Drifter", performed by Yvonne
"Whirlwind", composition and lyrics by Henrik Berggren, performed by Broder Daniel
"No dinero no amor", composition by Hallgren and Sagren, performed by Betty N Boop
"U Drive Me Crazy", composition by Hogblad and Lehtonen, performed by Waldos People
"Fantasy Dreamworld", composition by Stigsson and Rickstrand, performed by Combayah
"Adagio", composition by Tomaso Albinoni, arrangement by Remo Giazotto, directed by Jan-Olav Wedin, performed by Stockholm Chamber Orchestra
"I Want To Know What Love Is", composition and lyrics by Mick Jones, performed by Foreigner
"Funny Bunny Boy", composition by Lindgren and From, performed by Evelyn
"Dannys Dream", composition by Lars Gullin, lyrics by Lars Soderberg
"Blue Sky Black" by Evelyn
"Ill Be Gone", composition and lyrics by Henrik Berggren, performed by Broder Daniel
"Simplicity", composition by Nordlund, Danielsson, Karlsson and Andersson, performed by Souls
"Underground", composition and lyrics by Henrik Berggren, performed by Broder Daniel
"Show Me Love" (title track), composition by Max Martin, lyrics by Robyn, performed by Robyn
Awards and award nominations
Guldbagge Awards, Sweden: Best Actress in a leading role (won jointly by Alexandra Dahlstrom and Rebecka Liljeberg); Best Direction (won by Lukas Moodysson); Best Film; Best Screenplay (won by Lukas Moodysson); Best Supporting Actor (Nominee, Ralph Carlsson) (1999)
Amanda Awards, Norway: Best Foreign Feature Film (1999)
Atlantic Film Festival: Best International Feature (1999)