TURN ME ON, DAMMIT! (Jannicke Systad Jacobsen). 76 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (May 18). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN
Turn Me On, Dammit! opens with a novel scene: a teenage girl is wiggling on the floor enjoying phone sex. What's extraordinary is that the scene feels sweet and free of exploitation.
Sex-obsessed 15-year-old Alma (a painfully honest turn by Helene Bergsholm) is constantly drifting off into carnal fantasies involving everyone in her life. Unfortunately, she ends up being gossiped about in her bored Norwegian town after her school crush, Artur, pokes her with his penis (literally) and denies it.
This sounds like classic 80s sex comedy, but director Jannicke Jacobsen never goes for shock laughs, instead crafting a mature and thoughtful little movie whose humour arises from its nostalgia for sex-crazed adolescence. Alma's obsession is hardly unnatural; she's a teenager.
Giving a feminist twist to teen sex politics is part of Jacobsen's agenda, yet she never forces that theme. This delicate slice-of-life film captures awkward, realistic moments among a cast of recognizably flawed characters (most memorably Alma's frazzled mother and her death-row-obsessed friend).
Amusing, sweet and surprisingly touching, Turn Me On is an insightful comic gem that appeals to the secret pervert in all of us.