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Elling (2001)

Me, My Friend and I

They're packed and ready for the greatest adventure of their lives. All they have to do is get out of the house.

Starring:

Eli Anne Linnestad

Hilde Olausson

Joachim Rafaelsen

Jørgen Langhelle

Marit Pia Jacobsen

Ola Otnes

Per Christensen

Per Christian Ellefsen

Sven Nordin

Directed by:

Petter Næss

Rating: 10/10

Running Time: 89 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: Norway

Roses are red. Violets are blue. I’m Schizophrenic and so am I.

This classic joke and hilarious Norwegian comedy Elling prove that, beside the obvious downsides, Mental Health is pretty much always funny. Elling provides enough laughs and heartwarming moments to prove a huge success with audiences.

Petter Næss’ movie is about two mental patients (more socially challenged than proper mental) who are released back into the real world and given a flat to share in downtown Oslo where probation officer Frank Åsli (Langhelle) keeps an eye on them. Elling (Ellefsen) is a neurotic fusspot who is scared of everything and Kjell Bjarne (Nordin) is a big bear of a man who only cares about food and the prospect of having sex with a woman – any woman. As the two learn to live independently they make friends with a famous poet (Christensen) and Kjelle Bjarne falls in love with a pregnant neighbour (Jacobsen).

The two mentalists’ relationship is wonderfully acted and well directed as the two share a genuine, tender and unique onscreen chemistry that evolves throughout the film as they become more confident in the outside world. After learning how to use a telephone, eat at the local cafe and get disgustingly drunk, Elling mellows from a slightly annoying mother hen and Kjelle Bjarne shows his big heart and ends up helping everyone. The comedy is very, very funny as one liners, slapstick and sight gags mix together to provide hilarious results. At the same time, Elling can also be heartwarming and serious.

If Elling was American, it would be in every teenager’s DVD collection from Boston to Baghdad but seeing as it’s Norwegian, even with an Oscar nomination, it is sadly overlooked.

It's Got: Two very likeable characters, touching and funny humour, a beer-swilling, chain-smoking pregnant lady

It Needs: A few extras on the DVD I watched wouldn't go amiss.

DVD Extras Not much to talk about really DVD Extras Rating: 1/10

Alternatives:

Dumb and Dumber, Forrest Gump, Nord

Summary

Think Dumb and Dumber but with more class, laughs and likeability and a valid reason the two main characters act like they do. Would be a comedy classic if it wasn’t Norwegian.

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