Dwelling somewhere between the affectingly honest frankness of Show Me Love and the feel-good quirkiness of Juno, the Norwegian import Turn Me On, Dammit! is the latest entry into the canon of sexually active young girl movies (my six years spent at TLA Video taught me that there’s a substantial portion of moviegoers out there who follow this subject like it’s a sports team). Pretty 15-year-old Alma lives in a small mountain village where she spends her time fantasizing about sexual encounters with everyone from her schoolmates to her best friends to her goofy older boss at the grocery store. She narrates her fantasies in the manner of a young romanticist whose carnal desires are just as strong as her need for a loving companion. The only outlet for her blossoming desires is a phone sex line, her interactions with which are shown in surprisingly graphic detail. The opportunity for a physical encounter finally arises, but goes horribly wrong thanks to the familiar naivety and cruelness of teenagers. Alma’s frustrated mother is forced to cope with her daughter’s maturation while Alma herself turns to drugs, accepts the betrayal of her friends, and eventually hitchhikes to Oslo. The film could have easily ventured into Christine F. territory at this point, but it instead regresses towards a series of cliched reunions set to sappy music. By the film’s feel-good end, Turn Me On, Dammit! proves itself to be a standard tale of adolescence with a large degree of not-so-standard sexual content. Definitely worth a watch.
Turn Me On, Dammit! opens today at the Ritz at the Bourse.
Author: Eric Bresler
Eric is the Founder/Site Editor of Cinedelphia.com whose additional activities are numerous: Director/Curator of the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), founder of Tokyo No Records, the brain behind Video Pirates, and active local film programmer including the Unknown Japan screening series. He’s served as a TLA Video Manager, Philadelphia Film Society Managing Director, and Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies at Drexel University. He is shy and modest. Email Eric.