Synopsis: Alma (Helene Bergsholm), 15, is consumed by out-of-control hormones and fantasizes about almost every male she meets. At home, she racks up huge phone bills by calling sex hot lines and masturbating.
When she accuses her classmate Artur of exposing himself and poking her in the thigh, she becomes a social outcast. The other students believe his denial, even her best friends, Sara and Ingrid.
Based on a novel by Olaug Nilssen. The film is in Norwegian with English subtitles.
eyelights: its frank look at teen sexuality.
eyesores: the double standard that it illustrates.
‘Få meg på, for faen’ is an award-winning Norwegian 2011 coming-of-age story about Alma, a 15-year-old girl whose hormones are out of her control: she can’t help fantasizing intensely and it gets her into all sorts of trouble. Based on the eponymous novel by Olaug Nilssen, it’s the debut motion picture by writer-director Jannicke Systad Jacobsen.
Alma lives in Skoddeheimen, a small rural town on the outskirts of Oslo. She and one of her best friends, Sara, long to leave the town behind for greater adventures. Sara’s big sister, Ingrid, isn’t as disenchanted with the place, however; she is more of a conformist. Together, the three find ways to kill the days, sometimes by coaxing adults into buying beer for them.
When she’s alone, however, Alma masturbates. A lot. She’s even gotten into calling Wild Wet Dreams, a sex hotline, to help get her off. Her fantasies involve many of the people she knows, including her friends, but she particularly has the hots for Artur, a classmate. However, when Artur acts indiscreetly at a party, Alma’s reputation takes a hit.
Soon, Alma is ostracized by her friends, her classmates, and even the locals girls who spend their days jumping on their trampoline. Humiliated, her grades go down, her relationship with her mom sours, and she scrambles to get a hold on her life – on top of her consistently raging hormones, which even cause her grief at the shop she works in.
Honestly, I didn’t expect to enjoy ‘Få meg på, for faen’ as much as did. It’s a bit sexy and very funny (our first sight of Alma is of her masturbating under the confused and quizzical gaze of her dog) and it’s quirky in a subdued way – you know, off the beaten path much in the way that we are as teenagers. It also feels extremely down-to-earth.
I could relate with Alma on many levels, not just for the near-universal sexual awkwardness one feels as a teenager, but also for her vivid fantasy life; while I didn’t have nearly as developed fantasies at her age, I still have those types of daydreams today – sexy stories I can tell myself that aren’t elaborate but that utterly defy reality.
And that taste so sweet.
I also understood how her mom must have felt, knowing that her daughter is becoming sexual, and not knowing how to cope with it: she not only hears her masturbate, she finds the phone bill, gets a call from Alma’s boss, and hears the stories that are circulating. How do you deal with that? Thankfully, she journeys from concern to empathy.
What I found the most unfortunate about Alma’s story, at least in those six weeks while she’s cast aside: that she is being judged for behaving in a way that is considered commonplace and acceptable with boys, but that isn’t yet accepted with girls. She’s suffering due to a pervasive double standard. And for being normal, if a bit horny.
Thankfully, things work out for her: she runs away to Oslo to visit Maria, Sara and Ingrid’s older sister, and she finds acceptance with her and her roommates. Her mother also starts to warm up to her, as do some of her friends. Hopefully, Alma will regain the respect that she unfairly lost due to Artur’s youthful idiocy and cowardice.
At 76 minutes in length, ‘Få meg på, for faen’ is a relatively short film, but it’s a potent one. Given its subject matter, and the way in which it was treated, I’m surprised that it hasn’t stirred the pot a bit more. Then again, frank discussions of female sexuality (especially teen sexuality) rarely make it to the mainstream here.
It’s time to bring it out in the open, doncha think?
Date of viewing: February 28, 2016