Klassfesten (2002) Poster

(2002)

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6/10
Bittersweet comedy afraid of the dark
stefan-14419 January 2003
The high school reunion is traumatic to anyone with a heart and a brain. Our teen years just keep on nagging us, all of our lives. And nothing makes as good comedy, as the sad sides of life.

This film follows the patterns and lands in what could be expected, which is sort of OK in comedy. It does have some amusing twists to it - especially the drastic mixture of past and present. The characters change places with their younger alter egos, like flashbacks but in present time scenes. I would say that this is how our memory works, making us jump in time subconsciously, as if we have forever that teen inside of us. Also, it adds a poetic quality to the film.

It's the most endearing with the main character, who interacts constantly with his teenage self, who tries desperately to make him more cool, and urges him to get out of his sheltered existence. Yes, how kindly would we be judged by ourselves in our teens, if they saw us now? To some extent, we can live with it, having other values than we did back then, but in other cases - well, well.

I would have loved to see this conflict explored and deepened - that between the adult person and the teenager he once was. Unfortunately, the film stays on the surface of it, probably in fear of darkening the comedy too much. But comedy thrives on darkness, not on light. Happy and well-adjusted people don't invite to laughter, but misery sure does - I think already Aristotle stated this, in what little remains of his thoughts on comedy.

Certainly, there is some misery in the film, but just as it is about to really grab us, then comes a smile with snow white teeth, or a joke to release the tension. It is irritating. So also, is the fact that the dialogue contains little worth listening to. The writers/directors have not penetrated the subject sufficiently, or they just don't think so much of it.

Still, there were several moments where I laughed out loud, and in between the film was kind of cute.
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8/10
Does a class-reunion have the potential to bring life into living?
cuddlycheerful25 February 2002
Someone has said that you seldom regret what you have done but often regret what you did not do. The main character, Magnus, might not regret what he did not do but he definitely wonders about what might have happened would he have run away with, Hillevi, when they both were teens.

Magnus, now in his late thirties is having a slight mid-life crisis. He is living a safe and dull life with his wife, their daughter and experience nothing but a suburban life-style lacking excitement and anything at all relating to "carpe diem". When Magnus receives an invitation to a high-school reunion things change.

The directors, Hannes Holm and Måns Herngren, have once again succeeded in making a movie about a particular stage of life. As a viewer you have a great time laughing away to everyday situations that are so familiar but normally will never be brought up for discussion. There are plenty of great scenes which are familiar to anyone having experienced or heard others mention their class-reunions.

All in all Klassfesten is a terrific movie with great actors and a great story.
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7/10
Great sense of humour
kregert25 February 2002
I liked this movie very much. It captured a great sense of humour, kind of charming more than hilarious. These highschool reunions are very common in Sweden, and are are often connected with a lot of anxiety, agony and social pressure. How did you succeed in life?? But when it comes down to it, things aren't always what they seem. Go see the movie.
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7/10
Class reunion after 20 yrs - roles are still the same
mats olsson11 April 2002
Lightwight comedy with some funny observations on roles and relations. Two parallell contexts - one about relations within a marriage that has gone routine, and one about revisited relations within a junior high school class.

If you liked the other Herngren/Holm movies you will most likely enjoy this one.

Well worth seeing.
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Wonderful!
hdpxx04-imdb7 February 2004
Hannes and Måns are fantastic in capturing the surrounding and feeling of the time - both back in the eighties and today. Their characters are spot on (perhaps with exception of Inday Ba's Hillevi). One might have to be in the same age-group as Hannes and Måns to really appreciate the movie, but if you are, then memories will return - guaranteed.
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1/10
boring. the good reviews this one got is a mystery to me.
jacobsteel17 August 2002
Warning: Spoilers
As commented above, school reunion is a popular theme. As a result quite a few movies have been made on this topic. Klassfesten is not among the better ones. How this movie got such splendid reviews in the Swedish press is a mystery.

The script occasionally seems to suffer from bipolar disorder, not being clear on whether it's comedy or drama. The jokes are poor, the editing relies too much on musical interludes and the only good acting is found among the supporting cast. Sadly enough, Klassfesten still fails to be bad enough to be entertaining (as e.g. "Dykaren" is)

Spoiler Warning: Protagonist gets Lead Girl in a predictable way. That Lead Girl characterization relies heavily on ethno-chic does not help.
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4/10
Reunions. Must we stand them?
stensson28 March 2002
How many films about class reunions have you seen? Probably too many. This is one the first Swedish ones concerning the subject. The main character, well played by comedian Björn Kjellman is living a dull life with a dull wife and a dull dog and a daughter. He remembers his time in High School as rather terrible, but also his love for the girl Hillevi.

Well, have you seen reunion films before, you have seen this one too. There are funny situations, rather Swedish funny situations with lots of alcohol involved. The film is standable but not its subject. That genre needs to be renewed.
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7/10
filled with anguish ..
Love S24 September 2002
Ye flipping Gods !! This is one of the most awkward movies I have ever seen. It´s a pleasure to watch, in the same way we all enjoy some pain once in a while. Sometimes, I was unable to watch the screen at all. Suddenly, after watching this movie, I feel like killing myself. Obviously, there is no life after 30. The movie is very clear on that. Everyone in the film is really really pathetic. I just wish I die before I turn 30, or ofcourse, have a wonderfull jobb, a wonderfull wife .. a bunch of kids, and a 6 figure income.

7/10
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5/10
Depressing
Mattias Petersson18 January 2005
I know i'm hardly the intended audience for this film. I'm not even close to the mid-life crisis yet and therefore i might not understand the finer points of this "comedy". To me this was anyway more depressing than funny.

Magnus is 35 years old. He lives with his wife in a rather dull marriage. One day he receives an invitation to a class reunion, and he is not thrilled. After debating with himself he decides to go to this reunion, and that decision changes his life.

I don't what it is about these Swedish movies about people going through their mid-life crisis. These movies are plentiful and almost ALWAYS depressing. If these movies were something to judge from then the obvious deduction would be that life becomes completely pointless and bereft of happiness the moment you turn 35. Somehow i have a hard time believing that considering that there are plenty of people who live beyond that point without violently committing suicide.

Also what i don't like in these movies is that the resolution always seems to steer away from what would in most countries considered to be politically correct. Rather it's the revelation and the "new life", the guts to start anew, that is always heralded as the positive thing to do. Never to try and work things out in your present situation. This seems if nothing else at least very unrealistic since most people do not feel like throwing everything aside and just starting anew.

Anyway, this movie is rather funny in some parts. But not as funny as it is depressing. Björn Kjellman is great, as he often is, and most of the other actors are also doing a nice job. Also what the directors manage to do is promote sympathy in the characters. You feel for so many of them. They are pathetic but in a way that makes you sympathize rather than despise them. Which also adds some warmth to the otherwise rather bleak story.

So if a black comedy about the mid-life crisis is your cup of tea, then this might be something for you. I rate it 5/10 and hope that in the future these movies could perhaps be a bit brighter.
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