When Dennis, an introvert bodybuilder, invites a local girl out on a date his mother is hurt and disappointed. Despite the pressure she puts on him to cancel the date, Dennis ventures into a night that he will never forget.
Lykke Sand Michelsen
When the critically acclaimed, tough and coming of age actress Thea Barfoed ends her rehab, she confronts a hard choice. During her heavy drinking period she divorced and lost custody of ... See full summary »
The 38-year-old bodybuilder Dennis would really like to find true love. He has never had a girlfriend and lives alone with his mother in a suburb of Copenhagen. When his uncle marries a girl from Thailand, Dennis decides to try his own luck on a trip to Pattaya, as it seems that love is easier to find in Thailand. He knows that his mother would never accept another woman in his life, so he lies and tells her that he is going to Germany. Dennis has never been out traveling before and the hectic Pattaya is a huge cultural shock for him. The intrusive Thai girls give big bruises to Dennis' naive picture of what love should be like, and he is about to lose hope when he unexpectedly meets the Thai woman Toi. Written by
Inhibitions, an overbearing mother, feeling your age--this is moving in its simplicity
Teddy Bear (2012)
And you thought you were shy? This guy, who is all about power and presence, a massive bodybuilder, is a social misfit afraid of his own shadow. And I believe it. I almost felt sorry for the actor, forgetting the difference.
I suppose the story from the outside is overly simple--an aging bodybuilder is looking for love, but his overbearing (and tiny) mother doesn't want him to move out and move on. So he is kind and kinder and stays and yet he has some kind of need to have a girlfriend that won't just go away. With the secret help of an uncle, he makes a trip to Thailand. And here he meets girls, but he can hardly speak, and nothing comes of it. The second day there he finds a weightlifting gym and asks if he can work out. And all of a sudden he is at ease and himself.
And things go from there, not in any unexpected way. All of this is told with such touching restraint it makes you really involved. The leading man, Kim Kold, obviously a bodybuilder (like Schwarzenegger, you can't fake that stuff), is really good at playing an exceedingly quiet guy, but not a stupid one. He is going to be in a Hollywood movie ("Fast and Furious 6") this year, and who knows whether it'll be a first step or a last one. It seems like, just because of his Hulk shaped body, he has a future at least as a character actor.
The movie, all told, might lack some kind of storytelling nuance. It is what it is on purpose, but so much so it sometimes floats a little. This kind of Indie style often works just the way life does--things are interesting, watching some new people do some new things in an undistracted way is going to be watchable. And this does that, and well. It's because of its sincerity that you have some kind of emotional connection. But there is no magic, either, the way some films use small casts and simple touching plots and also find a way to lift the experience into something rare. (I'm thinking here of a similar movie about an aging wrestler in South America, "Bad Day to Go Fishing," which I highly recommend.)
I don't know the Danish film world much except that we, in the U.S., seem to get the cream of the crop and so the few I've seen have all been exceptional. I'd give this a look.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?