Laura (Julie Andersen) and Christine (Emilie Kruse) are best friends, inseparable, until the arrival of a young woman named Maria (Frederikke Dahl Hansen). Maria causes a major rift between the two girls as she grows close to Laura and leaves Christine out in the cold. She also starts to cause a change in Laura’s behaviour, leading her further and further into her own wild and hedonistic lifestyle.
Although director Kaspar Munk is also credited as the writer, with a storyline from Jannik Tai Mosholt, this teen drama was actually created thanks to some fine improvisation working around a 30-page outline. What could have been a recipe for disaster proves to be a solid success, with the film never feeling strained or false.
The characters get up to some things that most parents wouldn’t want their teenage children getting up to, but they’re never demonised and, more importantly, they’re never shown as just dumb kids going off the rails. Every decision is weighed up, even if it’s accompanied by far too much alcohol. This is not the over the top nonsense that we’ve already seen in the likes of Thirteen, and thank goodness for that.
The acting is great from the young leads. Frederikke Dahl Hansen gets to pop onscreen and shake everything up, but Andersen and Kruse are both fantastic as the close friends with an intertwined history who then react very differently to being apart from one another. Benjamin Wandschneider is also very good as Jonas, a young man who has observed the girls for some time (no, not in the bad way) and has feelings for Laura.
You & Me Forever isn’t a movie to rave about, it’s not an unmissable experience, but it’s admirable in the number of directions it DOESN’T take. There’s no sensationalism here. Don’t get me wrong, the film is full of “movie moments”, but they all work well while the characters are moving through them. It may be about teenage years and the decisions that we all make when right on the edge of adulthood, frustrated as we look at the gap still to be overcome, but it’s really more concerned with friendship. Great friends can lead to great times, bad friends can drag you to a new low. It sounds obvious, and to many people it IS obvious, but it’s a hard lesson that some people learn as a teenager, some people learn as a wiser adult and some people never learn at all.
WRITER/DIRECTOR: KASPAR MUNK
STARS: JULIE ANDERSEN, FREDERIKKE DAHL HANSEN, EMILIE KRUSE, BENJAMIN WANDSCHNEIDER
RUNTIME: 82 MINS APPROX