Eternal Summer

The 2016 Seattle International Film Festival was honored to host the North American Premiere of this multifaceted film from Sweden. "Odödliga" (English captions) is a romance with some drama thrown in to keep it interesting. In fact, I found myself hoping it wouldn't have too much drama!

Writer/director Andreas Öhman has assembled a terrific cast that depicts a whirlwind romance which boils down to this basic plot: Isak wants Em, but she wants more... This is a "Road" movie but once their little jaunt to "steal a cello" runs out of money, it takes on darker aspects than I wanted to see...

  • Filip Berg ("A Man Called Ove") Isak wants to fall in love and he wants to be loved in return. His character is witty, appealing, and (sorta) sensible. He has a boring job in an amusement park, plus an immature father.
  • Madeleine Martin ("Beck") Em is the capricious one. Their first encounter is beyond "meet cute!" She smart, athletic, and is from a high-achieving family. Her sister Felicia is the paragon. Em suffers from existential anxiety.
  • Fanny Ketter ("Here is Harold") Felicia grabs the family spotlight with her grades, her talents and her sociability. Their parents dote on her, even though, deep down, they DO love Em.
  • Torkel Petersson ("Patrick, Age 1.5") Isak's father Lars is a perpetual adolescent. He lies about his age and would like others (particularly young women) to think Isak is his brother, not his son.
I would never expect this pair to pull off a flawless crime, but that's why this is strictly entertainment, not ART. As our stars encounter beautiful scenery in the Northern woods, Isak likens it to "Lord of the Rings," not Sweden. When Isak complains that he has never even been to Legoland, I feel his pain. There are a number of similar lines I could relate to.

This was a crowd pleaser, not an artistic achievement. I enjoyed it! By the way, the English captions are terrific. Just try translating dialogue that rhymes!