Show Me Love
By Renee Longstreet,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Poignant subtitled story about two teen girls in love.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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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."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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.
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Where to Watch
Based on 1 parent review
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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.
Talk to Your Kids 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?
- In theaters: October 15, 1999
- On DVD or streaming: October 31, 2000
- Cast: Alexandra Dahlstrom, Erica Carlson, Rebeca Liljeberg
- Director: Lukas Moodyson
- Studio: Strand Releasing
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 86 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 1, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Where to Watch
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