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90 out of 99 people found the following review useful:

A fat man fights against himself to attain his right to be horny and happy

7/10
Author: Magnus (velkjent@hotmail.com) from Norway
21 April 2009

I finally saw this film a couple of days ago, having put it off due to middling reviews and a general lack of buzz. I was shocked to discover that not only did it work, it worked better than any Norwegian film I can remember seeing in the last few years. Granted, Norwegian film is in dire straits at the moment, rehashing dull formulas, making films out of every best-selling book regardless of how well it suits cinema or even works as a book. And yet the industry is in love with itself, regarding these times as some sort of golden age for our business. So let me just say that most movies chosen to prove that claim are nothing but mild versions of Fatso, and that if the business wants a flagship, here it is.

Like most Norwegian movies, the story concerns a sexually arrested man in an Oslo apartment whose main goal in life is to get laid. But unlike the cutesy characters usually presented, this guy is a monster. Only not. We get such uncensored glimpses of his sexual imagination that even as one laughs, one might also feel uncomfortable by the honesty with which his mind is presented. Especially since we all know that deep down we're not as far away from his thought processes as we imagine. The story is basically a repeat of the cinematic wave that made 1999 such a banner year for American cinema, exploring the male psyche and his place in modern society. Sure, not many women would want to sleep with, or get to know, this obese, inward-looking, one-track-mind person, but the filmmakers are fully committed to support his right to be fat, horny and in lust for companionship.

Everything he sees reminds him of sex, sometimes in very concrete ways, sometimes in more abstract ways and some times his mind wanders into combinations of childish superhero worship and universal needs. He is a lonely man who sits in his apartment eating, masturbating and subconsciously hating himself, until his father rents out a room in his large apartment to a sexy Swedish girl with issues of her own. Some see her character as underdeveloped, but we only see her from Rino's point of view, and there are enough moments of desperation in her story to suggest that the angst of the movie is universal, regardless of apparent status, looks and crowd. She doesn't need to be an angel or insanely smart because all Rino needs is someone, anyone, to see him, even if it is with disgust in their eyes.

The story takes us through Rino's journey out of his misery, but it only takes us so far, the filmmakers resisting the temptation to give us the American miracle-cure. The alterations he makes to his universe are things most of us could learn from, even if we're not in as deep a ditch as him. He goes from being an anti-hero to a hero in the traditional sense, trying anything to achieve his goals, while also displaying moral ambiguities that makes him tragically human. His relationship with his best friend is both hilarious and sad, the metaphors are direct and truthful, the way he sees the world has a twisted universality to it. Somehow a PERSON has found his way into a stylized comedy.

At it's core, this is not a movie about getting laid, losing weight, getting friends, status, cooler clothes or creative success, which are all goals the movie keeps open throughout. It's about seeing yourself in others. As he sees the tragedy beneath beautiful surfaces and beauty and humanity beneath ugly exteriors he keeps developing a sense of himself. And through discovering the human being in Rino, viewers who are honest with themselves may see their own lives in a slightly different light and walk out of the theaters as more of a person.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Not that shallow

7/10
Author: Kalle_it from Italy
30 November 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

No, Fatso is not just another teen comedy about an horny-but-clumsy uggo.

Or, to put it better, it is ALSO about Rino, an awkward young man (not that young actually) with too much interest in porn and not enough social skills to turn his fantasies into reality.

The conflict between his wishes and his inability to be "normal" is the core of the movie.

Rino's quiet and secluded life gets turned upside down when Malin, a young Swedish girl, moves in his flat. The girl is more or less everything Rino has just watched on porn movies: she's young, cute, social and very "open".

The problem is: she only dates (ie. sleeps) "cool morons".

Rino tries hard to become cool himself, but in the end he fails. He and Malin are just too different and can barely work as roomies, as the social and aesthetic prejudice can't be overcome by either of them, thus making even a friendship impossible.

The icing on the cake is the grand finale, where Rino gives up his try to become a new man, and falls back to his old habits of autoerotism... with tragicomic consequences.

But in the very end, Rino and Malin have taught and learnt something, and we leave them going separate ways, hopefully a little bit better then they were when they first met.

Fatso has two souls: you can take it as a typical "beauty and the beast" comedy (with no happy ending though) or a as a slightly deeper analysis of social interaction, expectations and pigeon-holes.

Its best aspect is it doesn't provide an easy way out: Rino won't end up being a stud, and he won't stop being a clumsy porn-addict virgin either. Malin won't probably stop being a fickle party-animal either.

But both at least made something out of each other's company, and are probably a little less lost when out of their element. Especially Rino.

On a final note, there is virtually no trace of the trivial and blunt vulgarity that made Fatso a controversial book in Norway. Rino was a much more disgusting, perverted and hopeless character in the book, but in the movie they had to make him look more sympathetic. And I'm not sure that was a smart move.

Also, the book ended in a much much MUCH more controversial way, fitting Rino's ugly character. Once again, it would have been interesting seeing that ending on the silver screen too. But the ending must be sorta happy, and clean even though it's not Hollywood.

All in all, an enjoyable movie, with some ups and some downs, but with such an interesting starting point like Fatso (the book), it should have been done much more out of it.

A final note: Casting a Swedish girl for the role of Malin (Maria is Norwegian in the book) was probably meant as a way to remark the difficult communication between Rino and women (and vice-versa) also by having the characters speaking in two different languages. Similar but different.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

There're so many "RINOS" like this one out there…

7/10
Author: mario_c from Porto, Portugal
24 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

FATSO is a Norwegian comedy-drama about a solitary man, RINO, which lives alone in a house that belongs to his father. He's fat, addicted to pornography, doesn't care of his own looking and his home really looks like a mess; and yes, he doesn't have a girlfriend and doesn't even know how to talk with girls… To relief from his frustrated sexual life and flow his fantasies this guy does a cartoon where he assumes the leader character: Here RINO is some kind of superhero and he can fight against everyone who subjugates him… but it's just an escape from his frustrating life! One day his father tells him that he will rent one of the apartments' rooms to a Swedish girl; and this event will change his monotonous life, definitely!

I appreciated this comedy-drama. It has some good "dirty humor" and some really crazy scenes, but I expected a different plot's development and also a different disclosure. In fact I think it has an unsatisfying ending. It has a nice message, OK, but I was expecting something different… something less dramatic, I don't know… Well, at least it doesn't have one of those awful Hollywood endings where the guy always end up together with the girl! And that's a good thing! On the other side, I don't think this movie is too clichéd, at all! It doesn't have nothing to do with those boring and (ultra) clichéd American teenage comedies! And that's a good thing, again!

But at the same time it also makes you think that it's not just a comedy, in fact, it tells us a story that is not so uncommon these days, and that's probably the most "dramatic part" of it… There're so many "RINOS" like this one out there…

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

fatso-a refreshing movie

Author: tyggis79 from Norway
18 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was like a breath of fresh air, while other norwegian movies tend to be pretentious and corny.The dialouge is good and the film balances the tragic and funny in a brilliant way.I allso liked the animation that were used several times in the movie, it gives the movie an arty feel and it was a creative way to not show the most vulgar parts of the story. I don't think this is a movie who makes fun of people, i rather think its a movie about overcoming obstacles and growing as a person. I liked that it wasn't a straight up comedy,it was bitter sweet and insightfull. So if you are tired of empty and thoughtless comedies, i strongly recommend this one!!7 out of 10 in my book. enjoy!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A poignant plot despite the corny, horny comical front

9/10
Author: James Wah Kong Chan from Philadelphia
23 September 2013

I saw this movie without any expectation that it would be good. But it turns out to be an artful and skillfully developed movie that is comical on the surface but carries deep down a tragic undertone. Nils Jørgen Kaalstad, who plays Rino, is a much better actor than first appears on screen. His acting is superb in subtle ways.

He plays an over-sexed nerd who is hooked onto pornography but has not developed the skills required to actually lure women to bed. His innate shyness and inexperience make him a lonely, socially (and sexually) ostracized person. But Rino has a good heart and is a kind and responsible person. The anecdotes on his translating "boring" user manuals of tools and widgets from the German to Norwegian is actually funny and very true-to-life. I know people who do such work for a living.

I can see that this movie may not appeal to viewers who don't not want to think. Rino's failure to live a "normal" sex life is a veiled condemnation of the dark side of Internet sex. Rino elicits sympathy. One hopes he will eventually finds the right woman who rescues him from the dungeon of cyber sex obsession. The movie is deeply honest and real-to-life.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

From embarrassing to great to face-palm.

7/10
Author: Rayniack from Finland
19 August 2013

This concept could very well have portrayed an awkward fat nerd's struggle to become a real alpha man and Rino could very well have become every fat nerd's role model. I thought first the movie was aiming at this, but like most Norwegian movies, this movie has its unnecessary twists and turns to make the viewer not anticipate such ending and of course this has it's own shares of such.

I must say Nils Kaalstad starring Rino is one of the best performances EVER. He genuinely portrays a very awkward and ultra nerdy guy in such a realistic way that you actually feel he is one hell of a looser and almost forget this is a movie and not a documentary of such a douche. He actually grows eventually a bit more balls and it is amazing to see the gradual transformation of Rino. From extremely awkward to sometimes very charismatic, this actor knows how to deliver! Malin is Rinos new roommate and she does also a terrific job to portray a stupid Swedish blonde girl who likes to party and never takes responsibility for anything. Rino's best friend is Fillip who is often very abusive to him, but since Rino has no friends, I guess he has to take what he gets. It is also very interesting to see how this relation completely changes, once Rino grows some balls.

Rino also likes to draw cartoons, depicting his sexual frustration, which is kind of interesting concept even though they are quite immature and plain right stupid. This movie could have been "Rocky for nerds" and I think they should have taken it this direction, but this is a movie that is interesting and constantly surprises you and you do not know what direction it will take you and therefore it gets a 6.5/10 from me. It had great potential, but it is a fun movie nevertheless.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A videw point from loney fat horny guy that has poor communication skills and main goal in life is to get laid

6/10
Author: KineticSeoul from United States
13 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is about a horny fat guy named Rino that has poor communication skills that is depressed cause he can't get laid so he imagines himself as a fat Rhino superhero that goes around doing perverted stuff. Just about everything he sees makes him imagine and have sexual thoughts. But a girl moves into his house and he can't help but have sexual thoughts about her while his so called friend is somewhat of a cockblock. The thing is this movie is more uncomfortable and kinda painful to watch than actually funny. In fact I didn't even laugh or even chuckle throughout this movie. The girl that moves in just uses the guy for a shoulder to cry on while she goes bang some other guy that doesn't really care for her. Even though I felt just slightly sympathetic towards her I couldn't help but not blame the girl although she does give false hope. And far from being a likable character cause a guy like Rino isn't someone I could recommend to a friend for a blind date no matter how sorry I was for the guy. If you thought the plot in "Knocked Up" is kinda far-fetched with Seth Rogen, the guy in this movie makes Seth Rogen look like Brad Pitt. The thing is though this movie doesn't try to cut corners but it's raw and direct. This movie has to do with the deep inner thoughts that an actual narrow direction and the ending may not satisfy other but it works in my opinion.

6.5/10

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1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Waste of time

1/10
Author: rystar86 from Toronto
21 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Save yourself the time and don't watch this movie. I think it might be worthwhile if you're European, but if you're expecting comedy, suspense or anything remotely good to happen - it won't. Definitely not for north American crowd. This movie really sucks and the girls aren't even good looking. Like really? Dude cuts his **** off and has a loser best friend. Horrible ending as well, should never have been made to a movie. Even if it was considered a film noir, it still sucks by having a half ass ed tragic hero wannabe. I honestly felt like the rising climax was going to happen next....because it seemingly never happened. The concept of making fun of people like the main character is heartless and in the end there is no resolution to the nonsense he endured himself.

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14 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Average Comedy

4/10
Author: arildmarken from Norway
10 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I went to see this movie last Sunday, and I had mixed feelings after seeing it. In it's own way its a weird and sometimes really funny movie.

The Whole movie resolves around this big shy fella, and his journey to get some with a girl, and whats annoying me of is the way the movie ends. After making an entire movie resolving around this subject, he doesn't get any at all, and instead almost saws off his own genitals with a Dremel...

And thats just about when I gave up this movie.

Fun at times, but mostly bizarre and boring.

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11 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Pointless and boring

4/10
Author: OJT from Norway
29 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Be warned. This film is a bore making fun of people with problems, either being fat, nerdy, sexually frustrated, blond or Sweedish.

There's been very many good Norwegian movies out the last years, and therefore one might expect good things going to a new story. This film has been buzzed a lot, especially around that the novel writer Lars Ramslie almost took the filmmakers to court due to them changing the name of the film from the books title "Fatso" to "Knullegutt" ("Fu**er-boy" in English).

Well, that name might have been more appropriate, because the film is just about getting laid. And Reno is a kind of guy which is not the first a girl would look upon, to say it carefully.

Already in the start of the movie it seems obvious that this kind of humor doesn't fit me. OK, some parts are enough to rise a teeth-less smile on your face, but then the film gets more and more dull.

When it comes to Reno almost accidentally cutting his male servant off, you're so dazed by the film you really don't react in any other way than thinking "What did he do that for? Did he do it? Well, is he going to lie there?" Then realizing: You really don't care about the guy at all.

In the end Reno gets a positive message, and this saves his world, and when the film then wasn't ending, I went myself. I realize the film was only 2 minutes longer, but still... My life is too short for watching boring comedies. Hope the book is better. It has to be.

The best thing about the movie? The mid-seventies Ford Granada used by Renos "friend" Philip. Beautiful! Though they were probably making fun of this car as well, in the film...

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