Levottomat (2000) is a romance/drama from Finland, which became popular
enough to spawn sequels. It is nearly hardcore in its sex scenes, but has great
depth of character development among all six major characters.
Mikko Nousiainen is an emergency doctor. In many countries, these emergency
doctors are mobile, making paramedics unnecessary. He meets long blonde Laura
Malmivaara at the beach, and cautions her that he doesn't do relationships,
because he has no feelings. It is true -- he is an emotional void, but he is an
enthusiastic lover, and she naturally falls for him based on their first meeting
and bedding. She at least has the good sense to get his cell number, and keeps
calling him. After a very unpleasant tryst with an older woman in a bar, he
decides that seeing her again would not be that bad an idea, and they become an
item, but she is constantly bothered by his inability to commit.
She introduces him to two couples -- her best friends -- and they accept him.
The group has obviously been together a very long time, and have a common
vocabulary, history, and traditions, which include a game called I never, where
one of them completes the phrase "I never (fill in the blank)." If they are the
only one of the group that has never done that, they score a point. It is as
good a plot device for exposition as I have seen. When one of the women,
Matleena Kuusniemi, who is due to be married, agrees with Mikko that she also
has never been in love during a Midsummer Night party, the stage is set for them
to have an affair, which nearly destroys the entire circle of friends when they
are caught. Meanwhile, Laura discovers she is pregnant, and still wants a
permanent relationship with Mikko.
The third woman, played by Irina Bjorklund, who is a priest, hits on him as
well, as was bound to happen. Being an equal opportunity philanderer, he does
the nasty with her, then she rebukes him. Matleena and her intended patch things
up, Irina will perform the ceremony, and Mikko and Laura will be witnesses.
After the wedding, Irina drops a bombshell during "I never," by saying "I never
had an orgasm having sex with another person."
I will leave it up to you to discover how it all plays out and who finds
I was amazed to discover that this was a student film project by director Aku
Louhimies, writer Aleksi Bardy and Editor Heikkila. Budding film makers should
see this freshman effort and take careful notes on how to create a good film
- First, they stuck to something they knew: contemporary Finnish
relationships between young adults.
- Second, they used a small cast.
- Third, they confined themselves to a few locations, all practical.
The result was outstanding. I don't think I have ever wanted so badly to score a soft
core film higher than a C+, but our rating system doesn't permit it. It is sad
but true that people who are opposed to graphic nudity in film would not like
this one either. For the rest of you, I strongly recommend it. The bodies are
lovely, the acting is top notch, and the sex scenes have heat. Best of all, the
character development is superb, making us care about all of the characters. If
you would like a shorter version of Friends with young people who actually get
naked and have sex, this is your film.
It is only available in the USA from RLDVDs.com on an All Region PAL. This
disk also contains over 13 minutes of deleted scenes, including extended
versions of two of the sex scenes. It is in Finnish with optional subtitles which are well done.
Click on the image below for details.
PAL discs will display properly on a computer in
North America, even if you only have a Region 1 disc drive. If you want to
play the disc with an American TV and a stand-alone DVD player, here's their
info on a stand-alone play-all DVD players.
IMDb readers say 6.0, with a respectable 1,400 votes, and won 3 Jussi awards,
including Peoples Choice, Best Editing and a special Jussi for the Soundtrack.
Mikko Nousiainen, Laura Malmivaara, Matleena Kuusniemi and Irina Bjorklund
all show everything. There is also nudity from several unknowns.