Show Me Love



Poignant subtitled story about two teen girls in love.
  • Review Date: October 25, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 86 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The film takes an authentic look at being different during adolescence. Two girls and their families grapple with the challenges and anguish of self-realization and self-acceptance. Honesty, courage, and compassion are held up as ideal values that ease a teen's way through difficult times. Conversely, the damage caused by intolerance, bullying, and teasing is clearly shown.


Positive role models

Teens are seen as "works in process." They're learning about themselves, about others, about sexuality, about their place in the world. The two main characters mature, gain strength through adversity, and begin to find joy in spite of what seemed like insurmountable obstacles. The very believable parents (one couple, one single mom) are shown as loving, concerned, and involved in their children's life to the best of their ability and circumstances.


An argument between sisters becomes physical. Two boys scuffle briefly. A young girl uses a disposable razor in a weak attempt to cut her wrist; she stops when she sees the small amount of bleeding she has caused. An angry girl verbally assaults a wheelchair-bound teen.


Lots of realistic teen conversation (from conquests and petting to anal sex and details of first sexual experience) as well as considerable edgy teasing about sex and homosexuality. Two girls kiss; a heterosexual couple kisses, engages in some foreplay, and is seen lying together after sex. A girl masturbates briefly off-camera. Naked high school boys are shown from behind in a communal shower. A poster of a bare-breasted woman hangs on the wall in a boy's room.


The movie is in Swedish, so the frequent swearing is written out in English subtitles: "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "c--t," "a--hole," "hell," "Jesus" (as an exclamation), "bitch." Also: "moron," "idiot," "dyke."


Coca-Cola, Puma, Adidas.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Underage kids are shown drinking wine, getting drunk, vomiting, and smoking in several scenes. A young girl wants to get high and searches the family medicine chest for drugs but finds only medicines for heartburn, etc.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this realistic coming-of-age story uses sexual identity as a means of exploring the complex and often painful emotions associated with self-discovery and acceptance. The two leading characters are high school girls who fall in love and have to come to terms with being different. Sexual content includes a few kisses (girl-girl and boy-girl), a moment of implied off-camera masturbation, teens discussing sex (including "Did it hurt?" and a mention of anal sex), and some partial nudity (boys seen in communal shower from rear and a poster of a bare-breasted woman hanging in a boy's room). There's frequent coarse language in Swedish (English subtitles): "f--king," "p---y," "s--t," "hell," "dyke," and more. The heroine uses a disposable razor in a feeble attempt to cut her wrists, but, after a little blood appears, she stops. Underage kids smoke and drink wine on several occasions, with some consequences.

What's the story?

In Amal, a small town in Sweden, lonely Agnes (Rebecka Liljeberg) is celebrating her 16th birthday; beautiful and popular Elin (Alexandra Dahlström) is bored and looking for excitement. A mean prank brings the two girls together. Amidst the turmoil, insecurity, and scariness of growing up, they experience the consequences of being different, the courage it takes to be true to themselves, and the sweetness of first love. Their families and friends respond to Agnes and Elin's journey in a variety of ways, all reflecting a naturalness and integrity that makes the film feel authentic and relevant.

Is it any good?


A huge box office success in Sweden (where it's known by its original title, F--king Amal) this movie (with English subtitles) treats adolescence with tenderness and respect. The story is simple; the characters are beautifully drawn and well acted. The delicate subject matter -- coming of age along with early awareness and exploration of sexual identity -- should resonate with thoughtful teens and their families.

Though the movie hasn't been rated by the MPAA, the film contains strong language and deals with sexual situations presented in a way that assumes maturity and compassion.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the effects of bullying and teasing. Have you ever been made fun of or embarrassed by others? What did you do? Does this movie portray the effect of bullying accurately? How can you express your beliefs without being hurtful to others?

  • What are your feelings about movies from other countries? How are the Swedish kids portrayed differently than the kids in your community? How are they similar?

  • Does this movie feel truthful to you? How do the filmmakers make it feel real? Does it change any of your opinions about kids who are different?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 15, 1999
DVD release date:October 31, 2000
Cast:Alexandra Dahlstrom, Erica Carlson, Rebeca Liljeberg
Director:Lukas Moodyson
Studio:Strand Releasing
Run time:86 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Show Me Love was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 17 years old Written byWes64 August 2, 2013

An important film

This film does involve frank discussion about sex, etc. It's also one of the few films I have seen that paint a realistic portrait of homosexuality. If only to teach tolerance, this film should be shown. The characters are deep and human, the story progresses on its own. The "edgy" material is genuine and it doesn't exist to - how do I say this - please disgruntled older people? It doesn't play out like someone's trashy fantasy. This is an important, poignant film.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Adult Written byPoetic Ramblings September 24, 2014
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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