We have the Scandinavians a lot to thank for in recent years in regards to TV and movies. If you’re looking for intriguing stories, beautiful scenery and people who look even better, then the Scandi-wave which has tsunami-ed our shores is as exciting as ever. Of course, while the quality of Scandinavian filmmaking has never been doubted, the success of series such as The Killing, Borgen and silver screen adaptations of the Millennium trilogy and Headhunters to name a few, chances to see our European neighbours work has certainly increased.
With this in mind then, GIRL ON FILM has chosen to review a film which while not a nail-biting detective thriller, does have many cosy-looking jumpers in the style of Sofie Gråbøl. Kyss Mig (Kiss Me) is a 2011 Swedish romance film directed by Alexandra-Therese Keining and stars Ruth Vega Fernandez and Liv Mjönes as well as Lena Endre and Wallander‘s Krister Henriksson.
The film tells the story of Mia (Ruth Vega Fernandez), an up-and-coming architect about to marry Tim (Joakim Nätterqvist), her business partner. At the engagement party for her also newly-engaged Father, Lasse (Krister Henriksson), she meets Frida (Liv Mjönes), daughter of her Lasse’s fiancee, Elisabeth (Lena Endre). Mia and Frida exchange many glances, portending mutual attraction. Mia and Frida both visit the remote island home Elisabeth and Lasse plan to share. Frida continues to be intrigued by Mia whose feelings are mutual but conflicted by her relationship with Tim. Mia and Frida’s feelings for one another blossom becoming increasingly urgent, until finally, Mia is left to decide whether to suppress her love for Frida or go on with her wedding plans or break off her engagement to Tim.
On the surface, this is a ‘coming out’ story, but underlying the drama and romance is a tale of two families attempting to unite as Lasse and Elisabeth become engaged. The actions of their children forces the older couple to discover more about one another in the wake of their daughter’s revelations and at times, though we are primarily focusing on the awakenings of Mia and Frida, the film contains scenes which superbly utilises its ensemble cast. A film which it could be most likened to is the recent Love is All You Need (2012), a Danish film starring Pierce Brosnan which has just been released this month in the UK.
As well as being an engaging family drama, Kyss Mig is a film which is GORGEOUS to look at. Concerning characters who sip glasses of red wine in attractive gardens in private holiday homes, you could be mistaken for thinking this was a film approved by the Swedish tourism board (though that’s probably because our home-grown Brit flicks sometimes waver between Nil by Mouth and Billy Elliot in comparison). The upper-middle-class-ness of it all shouldn’t put you off however, as it all adds to the escapism which makes the love story and setting feel like a fairytale on film.
Paired with the raw emotion the Swedish do so well, the film also boasts a soundtrack which elevates the film in its key scenes, letting the likes of José Gonzalez and Robyn replace what could be superfluous dialogue and allow the characters to flourish against a backdrop of stunning cinematography and sparkling chemistry.
If you’re looking for a film that’s heart-warming, thought-provoking as well as some dazzling romance, heartache and some beautifully sexy scenes, then this is the perfect film. If you like to suspend your cynicism, believe in true love and trust the power of family- Kyss Mig will be the film for you.