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As its title suggest; this is a very cute movie.
Boba_Fett113811 September 2012
This is absolutely a simplistic and very straightforward movie, that you can put under the slice of life, type of category. All of the drama, characters and events feel real and are also being kept deliberately small and realistic. The movie its title is very fitting. It might sound strange for a movie that focuses on an Arnold Schwarzenegger sized body builder to have such a title but the main character, despite of his imposing size, is being a true teddy bear! A gentle giant who never gets mad at anything or anyone. He's the type of guy that always comes across as friendly but shy and he's also the type of friendly guy people can easily take advantage of, since he can't really say no to anything. He's all very well aware of this but it's just simply part of his personality and he doesn't have the right social skills to change anything about it. I do believe that many people, to some extend, can identify with the movie its main character, which to me was also the foremost reason why the movie worked out so effectively. Despite his appearance, the main character seems to lack true confidence, which also makes him uncomfortable around women and maybe is also being part of the reason why he still, at the age of 38, lives at home with his mother, stuck in the situation. I wouldn't at all be surprised if he never had a true relationship with a woman, which hurts him inside. He definitely wants to be with someone and wants to give his love and be able to express himself to someone other than his loving mother. He's not a loser type of person and watching this movie is not as depressing as I am perhaps making it sound right now. Like so many other people out there, he's simply searching for love and true happiness but he's looking at the wrong places for it. He is very well aware of this as well but the urge to find someone to be with is too big to resist any longer. I wouldn't call him desperate, that sounds too negative for my taste but it's more like that nothing else so far has worked out for him, so he begins looking where lots of lonely and somewhat social awkward, middle aged men look for 'love'; Thailand. I know I talk a lot about the movie its main character but that simply is because he's the heart and center of the movie and everything that goes on in this movie truly revolves around him. Due to circumstances and his personality he gets himself needlessly into trouble at times. The sort of trouble that is easy to avoid but he doesn't want to heart anybody and he's obviously a pleaser who wants to make everybody feel good, even if that means lying to a person who you care about. Kim Kold is a true force to reckon with, mainly due to his size and screen presence. I'm pretty sure in certain scenes they exaggerated this a bit for dramatic effect but there is no denying this is one big guy and it's of course no big surprise Kold himself actually is a bodybuilder in real life. I'm not saying he will be the new and next Schwarzenegger but I truly think he should be given a chance in a bigger- and international production. No doubt this movie will be the Danish Oscar contender this year, for best foreign language movie and by all means it should be! It's a very cute and heartfelt, straightforward movie, with real people and real life situations, that are all very easy to identify with. 8/10
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This is a gentle and elegant movie, not a plot movie, not a story movie
Richard Virga29 August 2012
It's a "feeling" movie. It's about a mood, a feeling. Inside one person, searching for it in another person. The feeling is gentleness. And the pervasive powerful, insistent sense of it coming out of such a person, is just... amazing.

It's totally a visual movie. The content and plot are nothing to be concerned with, they are Normal.

Watch how Abnormal this guy is. Watch how he persistently avoids the Normal and finds another person like himself. (She's actually quite a bit more normal than he is)

He is a Mountain, a Monument of abnormality, dedicated to being gentle in a world that is almost completely unable to let me (or any of us, for the matter) be gentle.

And it's Not just his nature, it's also a dedication. And somehow he Uses that bodybuilding to reinforce his gentleness. He Moves gently.

It's quite a performance. I have no idea who he is, or what he actually is like, nor do I care. But here, he and the director have built... and elephant of a person. Huge, powerful, and gentle.

Joy to watch.
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Inhibitions, an overbearing mother, feeling your age--this is moving in its simplicity
secondtake9 April 2013
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.
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wesleyschooler7 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Teddy Bear highlights and shows the life of a professional body builder in his attempt to find love amidst his massive muscles and odd profession. His search ends up taking him to Thailand where he ends up finding a lovely Thai woman who shares his interest in love. The true problem is not his muscles in his quest for love, but his codependent relationship with his petite mother, who is the real hindrance to finding love. It appears that she wants all his love to herself and won't let him free. She won't let her baby boy "fly", and "Teddy Bear" hasn't learned how to fly, metaphorically speaking. The mother of the body builder has an emotional hold on his life and his heart. Every decision, or it appears every feeling that 'Teddy Bear" has, must be run and checked through his mother. He emotionally cannot escape the grasps of his mother's reigns. Throughout the film he battles his inner beast by trying to escape the grasp of his mother in order to find love by traveling to Thailand and even hiding his girlfriend from his mother in an apartment. In the end, "Teddy Bear" ends up escaping the co-dependent cycle with his mother by moving out of his mother's house and moving in with his girlfriend and finds his love.

The true beauty of this film is found in it's theme of masculinity. The film redefines what it means to be a male. We have the image of a massive body builder being ruled and dominated by nothing more than a 90 pound woman. All he desires is love and freedom. In his quest he never uses his muscles or size to break free from the emotional tyranny. It is his heart and mind that breaks free from his mother and flies towards dreams of love. The woman he ends up falling in love with is no bigger than a thimble. The same message is told in his love life. Love has nothing to do with power. It's a beautiful reminder and example to all male's that masculinity has nothing to do with physical prowess. It's a good reminder to all male's that being a true male means using your heart is a passive manner. Love and freedom manifest through thought and emotion, not power and anger. Hopefully people who view this film will redirect their view of masculinity. It has to do with the intellect and matters of the heart.

Lastly, and on a cheesy note. I think the film maker was trying to tell a story that we are all capable of finding love regardless of our background, family issues, and current situations. Big or small, trapped or free, love is possible.
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"Minimalistic and poignant love-story..."
Sindre Kaspersen26 November 2012
Danish screenwriter and director Mads Matthiesen's feature film debut which he co-wrote with Danish screenwriter and director Martin Pieter Zandvliet, is based on his short film "Dennis" (2007) and was screened in the World Cinema Dramatic section at the 28th Sundance Film Festival in 2012. It was shot on location in Copenhagen and Omegn in Denmark and Pattaya and Bangkok in Thailand and is a Danish production which was produced by producer Morten Kjems Juhl. It tells the story about Dennis, a 38-year-old bodybuilder who lives in a suburb of Copenhagen with his mother Ingrid. After learning from his uncle Bent that it's easier to come in contact with women in Thailand than in Denmark, he tells his mother that he is attending an upcoming competition in Germany and goes on a journey.

Acutely directed by Danish filmmaker Mads Matthiesen, this finely paced fictional tale which is narrated mostly from the main character's point of view, draws a genuinely heartfelt portrayal of a man's search for a girlfriend and his relationship with his mother. While notable for its naturalistic and atmospheric milieu depictions and fine cinematography by Danish cinematographer Laust Trier-Mørk, this character-driven drama depicts a insightful study of character and contains a great score by composer Sune Martin which emphasizes it's lingering atmosphere.

This incisively romantic, authentic and touching story about life-altering choices and the gracefulness of human nature, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, subtle character development and continuity, endearing characters and the empathic and heartrending acting performances by Danish actor Kim Kold, actress Chanicha Shindejanichakul and Danish actress Elsebeth Steentoft. A minimalistic and poignant love-story which gained the Directing Award Mads Matthiesen at the 28th Sundance Film Festival in 2012.
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"Some day love will find you; break those chains that bind you"
Steve Pulaski7 December 2012
"Some day love will find you; break those chains that bind you" - "Separate Ways," Journey.

I hope and wish on the brightest star I see tonight that Mads Matthiesen's Teddy Bear finds an audience not only in its home-country of Denmark, but in America, which is so accustomed to its spontaneous, mostly empty cinema that it's ridiculously easy and sickeningly common for small, human-driven pictures like this to go far below the radar. This is a stunning, poignant, masterful work involving immensely undiscovered talent, sensitive writing, smooth directing, and a storyline that is pure and viably sustainable when taken in the format presented.

Dennis is a thirty-eight year old bodybuilder, living with his controlling, domineering mother (Elsebeth Steentoft) who has kept him a shy, secluded introvert his entire life. Despite boasting a strong, incredibly toned exterior, his interior paints a feeble man three times smaller than him. He has never had a true relationship, and slogs through his days depressed and uninspired. His morose feelings only heighten upon visiting his uncle's wedding to a lovely Thai woman, and not long after, seeing his nephew so lonely and melancholy in live, encouraging Dennis to travel to Thailand to try and meet some women.

He lies and tells his mother that he will be competing in a bodybuilding competition in Germany, and then quickly boards a plane to Thailand. A close friend of his uncle's attempts to set him up with several different girls, but the fact they're all prostitutes unsettles Dennis and he becomes nervous and hasty around all of them. He finally meets a young, genial soul named Toi (Lamaiporn Sangmanee Hougaard), who owns a gym, and he believes he has found the one he'd love to form a relationship with; now if only his mother will approve of it.

Dennis is played by former bodybuilder Kim Kold to a bold, graciously welcoming extent. His character greatly reminds me of myself in some ways; he hungers for the attention of the opposite sex, but is unsure of how to balance it and handle it all once obtaining it. He struggles to maintain a consistent conversation, is notably tense and socially inept during the simplest little get-together, and feels gridlocked to long pauses and dialog that lacks confidence. This is a negative affect of the heavy nurturing of his mother, who seems to keep him well-fed and unambitious in not his dreams but his social life.

The way writers Matthiesen and Martin Zandvliet handle this delicate material is astonishingly poetic and nuanced. They stray far, far away from shouting matches between Dennis and his mother about "taking care of me" and other mother-son issues, and fights between Dennis and Toi about "growing up." We see from our scenes with them together that Toi knows exactly what the deal is between Dennis and his mom and prefers not to further belittle him for the minor baggage. She'd much rather go the extra mile to make the relationship as a whole work well.

Teddy Bear is also photographed with that beautifully melodic foreign film sensitivity that combines minimalist cinematography and gorgeously showcased settings that add fuel to this as a visually compelling picture much less a narratively compelling one. But it's inexcusable to note the majority of the film's success comes from its leading man, Kold, who completely handles this role with the utmost capability and realism. He provides us with one of the finest performances of the year, and with one of the year's most likable protagonists as well.

Starring: Kim Kold, Lamaiporn Sangmanee Hougaard, and Elsebeth Steentoft. Directed by: Mads Matthiesen.
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A Sleeper from Denmark
billcr121 December 2012
The Teddy Bear here is a thirty eight year old bodybuilder, Dennis, who lives at home with his domineering mother, Ingrid, in a very disturbing relationship. From the start, it is apparent that his mom has a few screws loose. The opening scene shows Dennis at a restaurant with a woman on a date. He is completely out of sorts and shows the emotional level of a high school boy at the senior prom. Back at home, he tells mommy dearest that he has been to a movie with his friend, Lars. Later on at a dinner, he meets someone with a wife from Thailand, who inspires him to travel there to find a mate. He tells his mother that he is going to Germany instead. In Pataya, he is swarmed by prostitutes and ends up in a very awkward situation with one of them. He meets Toi, and they manage to make a connection. Eventually, mom finds out and the fireworks begin. Kim Kold as Dennis and Elsebeth Steentoft as Ingrid are outstanding in this disturbing and deeply moving look at human nature from Denmark; a definite candidate for best foreign language film at the Oscars.
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Teddy Bear or Mama's Boy?
Catt Jones20 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I can see why this film won the directing award at the Sundance Film Festival. This film totally pulled you into the title character fairly quickly. Right from the start you could tell that Dennis (Kim Kold) was very socially inept and was so endearing that you almost felt sorry for him. Director and writer Mads Matthiesen framed this film very well and kept you rooting for Dennis , hoping that he would gain enough courage to stand up to his dependent (and possibly also socially inept) mother. By the way, I was recently educated on the name Mads and it is a very common name in Denmark (in case anyone was wondering). Dennis, who is a championship body-builder is a very dedicated son and has apparently been his mother's sole friend all of his life. Once he sees that his friend has gone overseas to Thailand and return with a wife, Dennis decides to do some wife hunting of his own. The fact that he has to lie to his mother about where he is going is a strong indication of how unhealthy their relationship really is. Once in Thailand, Dennis discovers that there are not a lot of "good" girls around until he stumbles upon a gym and meets the owner Toi (Lamaiporn Hougaard). The fact that Toi takes the time to show him around the city and introduces him to the local culture quickly brings her up to the level of "potential" wife. Once Dennis is back home in Denmark, the lies continue and mom is thrilled to have him back home under her control (or so she thinks). There are really no surprises in this film, but it was very entertaining to see it play out. I guess the film proves that although you may be able to lift small trucks over your head, you can still be very vulnerable and unsure of yourself. In the end, Dennis did turn out to be a big ole teddy bear; however I would have probably considered calling the film Mama's Boy (smile). I am not sure if this film will ever be released to the general public, but it is one of the better foreign films that I have seen. I do have to warn that there are some sub-titles in the film, however they are very few and not at all difficult to keep up with. I liked the film, but did not love it so I am giving it an amber light.
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This movie taught Dennis and us what love is but this movie taught us what love is not.
rzhangx647 January 2014
Love how my previous entry was also about a movie, specifically those little nasty ones in the romance genre. Teddy Bear. I don't know whats up with me but I cannot rate a movie 2 3 or 4 stars. Either I love it or hate it. I think part of it is because I have the nasty tendency of seeing myself in everything. If I see myself and the message resonates... the other nasty tendency to activate my nasolacrimal ducts. This one didn't jerk my tears, it just sort of gave me hope. Mired in Dennis's brutal awkwardness, I couldn't help but cheer him on when the only thing he really wanted from Toi was to save him from the gut wrenching loneliness that was still there as he was being accosted by Thailand's finest. IDK if it was his upbringing or my own idealistic tendencies, but Dennis's refusal to sex even if Toi was kinda really cute in that thing signifies to me even more that just sex, the casual variety of intimacy, was something that Dennis has experienced and understands the fleeting nature of. Description said unexpected lesson about life and love. I think Dennis was taught what love meant the moment he stepped into that gym. Loving something or someone is being able to be or do anywhere and enjoy it just as much as you would at home. Love is the universal language that needs not for words to fail to have its place. Love brings together no matter where, no matter how and no matter who. I think this taught me and the viewer what love isn't. Love is not the absence of loneliness but rather the embracing of loneliness through companionship. Dennis's mother feels as if he does not love her because he leaves on his own whim. Dennis only leaves because he is lonely. Lonely because the companionship of a mother waits only to be replaced by matrimony. Void of matrimonial substance, Ingrid clings to her son. Love is not conditional upon loyalty to this companionship however. Love can transcend time and space. Love rends the heart while its claws lay hundreds of miles away, only to be mended with the redolent whispers of lovers, nowadays voiced over internet protocol. Love is in the letters of bygone days between the stranded and the shipwrecked.
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Danish Gem of a Movie
Larry Silverstein21 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I found this Danish film to be a real find and a little gem of a movie. It's written and directed by Mads Matthiesen, who is making his major motion picture debut.

Kim Kold, an actual former Danish National Bodybuilding Champion, is terrific portraying Dennis Petersen, a 38 year old introverted nice guy. He's a hulk of a man who in the film is also a professional bodybuilder and former champion.

But Dennis has a problem. His mother Ingrid, marvelously portrayed by the veteran Danish actress Elsebeth Steentoft, is a controlling, manipulative, and selfish person, who will do just about anything to keep Dennis at home and under her emotional control.

When Dennis' uncle Bent rewards him with a trip to Thailand after he helped him with a major yard project, Dennis lies to Ingrid and tells her he's going to a weightlifting competition in Germany.

When Dennis arrives in Thailand he's not comfortable with the prolific prostitutes there who are continually trying to solicit him. Instead he meets Toi, also wonderfully portrayed by Lamaiporn Sangmanee Hougaard, who is the owner of the gym where Dennis has stopped off at. They hit it off and Toi shows him around the city and the surrounding countryside.

Dennis ends up inviting her to come to Denmark and live there. He even goes out and secretly rents an apartment for her, knowing that Ingrid is going to be upset.

When Toi takes him up on his offer and comes to live in Denmark, Ingrid finds out and it all spirals into a dramatic conclusion. I found this movie to be a surprising little gem, but it's probably not for everyone. But for those viewers who have the patience to enjoy a quiet, droll foreign film that has an interesting and original story you may very well like this film as I did.
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A view of the lonely journey to independence
pontifikator12 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Directed by Mads Matthiesen, who co-wrote the screenplay with Martin Zandvliet, this is a disturbing movie about a very likable guy, the teddy bear of the title.

Dennis is a professional body builder, a huge hulking man who is a gentle giant of 38. He still lives with his mother in her home, and at first I thought she suffered from dementia because of the ultra politeness of Dennis's dealings with her, never arguing, doing whatever she said, sharing the bathroom with her in the mornings. However, it became clear that his mother was a controlling, very subtle monster who kept her son at a pre-school level in their relationship. Dennis is played very well by Kim Kold in what appears to be his first, maybe only movie appearance. Kold is indeed a professional body builder. His mother is played by Elsebeth Steentoft, a professional actress who is incredibly expressive without moving a muscle. Most of the cast have no other movie experience, and Matthiesen did a wonderful job getting a professional quality performance from everyone.

The plot of the movie is whether Dennis can separate himself from his mother, and I found my self rooting for him along the way. His disagreements with his mother never have raised voices, are based on her subtle manipulation of his feelings toward her, and require her to keep him as her little boy. She refers occasionally to men being disappointments and to Dennis's father, whom Dennis never knew, and her greatest reproof of Dennis is to tell him that he's like his father. The struggle for control over Dennis's freedom is never out in the open.

Dennis's struggle is as subtle as his mother's control, so the drama of his journey is without rage or tears. Just the lonely journey to independence that he should have taken as a boy, made more difficult by decades of manipulation by his mother. Kold does an excellent job showing the internal conflict without emoting. It's a very good movie.

I have the movie on a DVD from filmmovement.com, and the DVD contains two short features by Matthiesen. I don't know whether this is one sick dude or he just likes to explore sick relationships. One of the features is "Dennis," a short version of "Teddy Bear" which shows more of the relationship between Dennis and his mother. The other feature is "Cathrine," which explores the relationship between an overweight 16-year-old girl and a 33-year-old man. As in "Dennis" and "Teddy Bear," Cathrine's parents are controlling, but you can't root for a girl to break free with a man that old -- out of the frying pan and into the fire, I fear.
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Chix Chat on Film Review: Looking for love in all the Thai places.
Emma Dinkins21 April 2012
This was such a venture into the unfamiliar for me, this small window into the life of a gentle giant who happens to be a body builder, living with his mother in Denmark and looking for love. That was a mouth full. I was initially taken aback because I did not expect subtitles, but the film had a good balance of the spoken English versus Danish and Thai, and it shows that around the world the unifying language is English. In all I was glad I did not have to read the whole movie. Dennis (Kim Kold) is so large that when you first take in his entire physique, he is a bit menacing. At one point in the film when he does the muscle flex poses that are part of the body building culture he has this strained smile on his face that is rather creepy. It dawns on me that everyone is faced with some prejudice based on their appearance. A chance encounter with Dennis would make most anyone consider turning to run the other way, but this film shows that he is so affable, that even with all his girth, he is completely dominated by his mother. This film could have easily been entitled Danish Mommy Dearest. The quirkiest part about the relationship between Dennis and his mother Ingrid (Elsebeth Steentoft) is that she is so diminutive that when they interact he hulks over her. As the story progressed and Dennis ventures out to Pattaya Thailand and meets Toi (Lamaiporn Hougaard), we truly get to know who Dennis is. This segment of the film is the reason for the aforementioned English language being a unifier. At home Dennis spoke Danish, he meets Toi who speaks Thai and as they get to know each other they speak English. Who woulda thunk it. I was at no point in the story sure of what recourse Dennis would take. Would he succumb to the wishes of his mother or seek some personal happiness for himself. This film made it quite clear why Dennis was a body builder, and proved if it ain't one thing it's your mother. The story was an unexpected delight, and it shows that no matter what is on the outside or what your background happens to be, that inside everyone is basically the same, no one wants to be alone. I give this charming little story an amber light.
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It's True Bodybuilders can Act!!!
adonis98-743-18650312 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Kim Kold steals the show in this movie as a Bodybuilder that lives with his mother and he's so protective around her that he never found the time to or the need to be with a girl get married and have children and even when he does his mother goes crazy and destroys his stuff and he chooses to leave her. This isn't exactly a spoiler it's something that many viewers would except from a dramatic film of this kind. People always judge Bodybuilders as this kind of freaks that can't act i'm sure this movie will prove them wrong and if not just remember that Arnold Schwarzenegger last year made Maggie and he was wonderful to even look at him.
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Heart warming story
Mr M T Morse14 April 2015
I really enjoyed this movie about a gentle giant who travels to Thailand and falls in love. The main character reminds me of myself, I too like bodybuilding and I plan to visit Pattaya in Thailand and hopefully find love with a normal girl who isn't looking for business only. This film was heart touching, a very nice story. There were some interesting characters as well as nice scenery. I recommend this film to anyone who's a fan of foreign cinema like I am. I'm now searching for some similar films which are about love and travel, preferably foreign, I'm a fan of local films too but foreign are my favourite. I really enjoyed this one. I rate it 7 out of 10.
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An enjoyable film
Gordon-1115 February 2015
This film tells the story of a respected and famous body building, who lives under the shadow of his judgemental mother. He travels to Thailand on the advice of his uncle, and finds a whole different world outside his home.

"Teddy Bear" looks cute on the surface, but addresses a lot of underlying psychological and ethical issues in the plot. The mother holds a strong stance against sex tourism, which is understandable, and a viewpoint that has to be portrayed in a film like this. While the bodybuilder goes to Thailand, he still holds respect towards women which is a welcoming subplot. The way he breaks through cultural barriers, and the shackles imposed on him by his family is also well explored and well presented. I enjoyed watching this film.
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A very healthy man in a very unhealthy situation!?!?
gilligan196530 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"Where along the way did so many parents around the world forget that chickadees grow up and must stretch their wings and leave the nest?"

*NOTE - If you're here to read reviews before seeing this movie...if at all possible, watch the 'short' simply titled "Dennis" BEFORE watching this - they're directly connected.

I was channel-surfing and came upon the 'short' "Dennis" on "The Film Fest" channel and decided to watch...and, it was as good as it was disturbing. Then, I also found "Teddy Bear" on the 'same' channel - even better, but, no less disturbing.

This is a very well-made movie and good story that hits very close to home for me, and...I'm sure, for most everyone else who's seen it. Over the years, I've actually had friends, and, girlfriends, who, if not for a bossy and dominating parent, or parents, would have been quite happier and more successful in their social and professional lives; not to mention, their own 'parental' lives.

"Teddy Bear" is about this same kind of typical clingy, lonely, and, selfish mom who just cannot let go of her very-adult son; and, the brainwashed adult son who's never left mommy's home and has been raised to believe that his 'mom' is, and, always will be, the focal point of his life and the only woman who will ever love him!?!? The entire concept of this is abnormal and disgusting, but, it happens all over the world, every day...usually, but, not limited to, moms and their 'momma's-boy' sons.

Right away, you can tell that 'Dennis,' the protagonist, is a very good, honest, gentle, and, respectful man who has a bright future both socially and professionally; but, he's also a 38-year-old, socially-odd prisoner in this own limited world that is run by his mom who's 'trained' him since conception that 'mommy knows best' and 'mommy is best.' She also tells Dennis that "Men can't be trusted," but, oddly, she keeps Dennis, a man, at home with her!?!? Seems to me that 'mom' would be doing the 'female-world' a big favor by releasing her son unto them as he obviously 'can' be trusted to be good to a woman since 'she's' kept him around her all of his life!?!? No! She's clingy, lonely, and, selfish!

Dennis' mom always wants to know where Dennis is; whom he's with; whom he was with; what he's doing; what he's been doing; etc. (I couldn't stand my mom asking me these questions when I was 10!). My parents cut me loose when I was 18; but, I've had friendships and relationships ruined because of parents just like the mom depicted in this movie, and,...it's pathetic! I couldn't believe that these adult-friends of mine actually listened to their parents when orders were barked at them as if we were all kids again!?!? It's a sickening situation somewhere in between 'Bobby Boucher' in "The Waterboy" and 'Norman Bates' in "Psycho."

Even before it ever happened, I could read Dennis' mom like a Greek tragedy, as I've been there before! I knew it was coming, but, before he even mentioned the word 'girlfriend' to his mom, I knew she'd become all 'woe is me;' and, 'what about me;' and, 'how could you do this to me;' and, 'ME, ME, ME!' Never "DENNIS"...only "ME!" This movie is an exact blueprint for how parents shouldn't be towards their adult sons and daughters; and, at the same time, a reverse-barometer of how adult sons and daughters shouldn't react to their parents and their interference...show a mind of your own and some backbone!

I can't remember where, but, I'm certain that I once read something along the lines of "When you get married, you divorce your parents."

Parents, the world over, should wise-up to this concept; and, adult-children who still feel the need to remain fledglings should do the same and 'grow up!' This kind of 'parental domination' can not only prevent relationships and marriage, but, it can cause divorce! This kind of domineering parent will also breed contempt in a child; as well as get the child to lie to the parent when they want something, or, want to do something, that they know the parent will object to...which is anything and everything that doesn't include the parent.

Dennis is a great guy, but, he's been conditioned all his life to be a life-long servant by and to a mom who married a man who was an alcoholic (probably because she pulled these same stunts and guilt-trips with hubby and it drove him to drinking!?!?).

Dennis' mom is a 'ball-and-chain-pain-in-the-butt' who couldn't imprison her husband, so, she turned to her son for the same attention and subservience. Clinically speaking, Dennis' mom is a 'urogenital opening just anterior to the anus.' (I had to give this definition as vulgarity is forbidden on IMDb...but, you get the gist).

This is a very good movie that opens up a lot of eyes and minds; but, it also opens up a lot of old wounds and bad memories of friends who could'a, should'a, would'a been...if not for a parent like this!?!?.

BOTTOM LINE - If you have a good son/daughter like Dennis...don't be a bad mom like Ingrid! Let him/her go out and enrich the world! :)
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Lots of muscle, but lacks genuine heart
octopusluke6 December 2012
Based on filmmaker Mads Matthiessen's short film Dennis of five years ago, Teddy Bear (oddly titled 10 timer til paradis [10 Hours to Paradise], in it's native Danish) is the delicate character study of Dennis (Kim Kold), a 38-year-old, 400 pound, 1.9m tall, trophy-winning body builder. A domineering presence, he is the biggest manchild ever encapsulated on screen. Softly spoken, with no friends other than his sparring gym buddies, Dennis still lives with his diminutive mother Ingrid (Elsebeth Steentoft – In A Better World, Italian for Beginners). With a distinct lack of confidence, he is trying to find some meaning of life behind the muscle. When his somewhat Freudian relationship becomes overbearing, and inspired by his uncle (Allan Mogensen), Dennis travels to Thailand to purchase the love of his life. Basting in the monsoon heat, he puts on his tailor-made threads and parades the city bars and restaurants looking for a lady of the night. The girls are clearly interested in the hunk, but he is afraid of commitment and sexual contact. He returns to his sanctuary, the gym, and stumbles upon a friendly Thai widow (Lamaiporn Hougaard) who may just be the woman he has been dreaming of. But what would Mother Ingrid do? Whilst the name Teddy Bear may sound like a dab-hand at tired irony, there's something awfully mawkish and non-Scandinavian about this Danish drama. Written by Matthiessen and collaborator Martin Zandvilet, the lack of comic relief, dark subtext or substantial plotting means that the drama feels rather meat headed and predictable. Kim Kold's portrayal of the reticent Dennis is initially impressive but, when the film needs some emotional depth, the beefcake's acting chops are tested and tarnished. A treacly character piece, it's the absolute antithesis of the 1973 Arnold Schwarzenegger- centric documentary Pumping Iron. Both movies fill the screen with impressive muscle, but Teddy Bear weighs in without the heart, passion or balls it needs to carry it's preposterousness.
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It had potential
corporal_chowderhead9 February 2013
I've been desiring to see this film for months. When I finally had the opportunity I was fully prepared to be swooned by a beautiful story of a lonely man just looking for love.

I loved the reversal of character attributes between Dennis and his mother. The movie was set up for the transition of Dennis from his solitary shell to become a man of his own choosing.

Technically this does happen as can be seen from the previews, but the way it happened was very much lack-luster in my opinion. I wanted to be moved emotionally, I wanted to get involved in the storyline.

But in the end I wound up watching a very decidedly awkward relationship unfold between all the characters without any real power. The acting was very fitting, the plot was elegant, but there was no life, no desire, no emotion.

This movie was more like the firework you've been saving for the time your parents aren't around only to find that it fizzles and pops rather than bangs.
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nick dame27 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The movie is well made from a technical standpoint. There is no doubt about that. But I think a better name would have been Brontosaurus. The lead character is not a lovable teddy bear and does not come off as a person you have sympathy for. He is strange, slow witted, and this film empowers the belief that all bodybuilders are dumb and simple which is not a fair description. However, this movie accurately gives an example of how so many weirdo white guys go to Thailand because they can't get normal women to date them. The last step before they become serial killers. The scene with the mother in the bathroom illustrates the unnatural relationship they have. If the mother in this film would have owned a motel, this would have been another version of Psycho. I don't care that he eventually finds love - his life journey to get there grossed me out.
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