Show Me Love (1998)

 “You’re not normal.”

Swedish film Show Me Love is the story of the relationship between small-town two teenage girls–Agnes and Elin. Agnes (Rebecka Liljeberg) is almost 16, and with no friends, she’s the school outcast. Elin (Alexandra Dahlstrom) is the exact opposite. She is one of the popular girls who dreams of a modeling career and always has a boyfriend–her latest admirer is the solid, but dull, Johan (Mathias Rust). In spite of the social status that is supposed to make her happy, Elin is restless and bored. Both girls are targets for rumours at school. It’s rumoured that Elin is promiscuous, and everyone whispers that Agnes is a lesbian.

On Agnes’s 16th birthday, her well-meaning parents throw a birthday party. Agnes is sure that no one will come. Elin and her sister Jessica (Erica Carlson) arrive at the party simply because they think there will be free alcohol. Their visit to Agnes’s home only serves to highlight the pathetic birthday party. But then an incident takes place between Agnes and Elin ….

Elin opts to immerse herself in the safety of a conformist, heterosexual relationship with Johan, but rapidly discovers that only boredom and predictability are ahead. Show Me Love is the story of busting free from the roles assigned to us, and having the self-confidence to declare who you really are. Elin and Agnes are not particularly likeable characters. They’re both alienated in different ways, and they’re both capable of spiteful acts. Their characters, however, are authentic, and both of these young actresses deliver convincing performances. Elin’s tantrums and squabbles with her sister feel as though they could be unfolding before the viewer’s eyes. In Swedish with English subtitles, Show Me Love is from director Lukas Moodysson.

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