The last time many of us saw KÃ¥re Hedebrant, it was in Let The Right One In. He’s grown up quite a lot and is now starring in Cupid’s Balls, screening at the TIFF Next Wave Film Festival. Directed by Kristoffer Metcalfe, the film follows Lucas (KÃ¥re Hedebrant) as he moves from Sweden to Norway with his mother. Most of the youth in town play soccer, hoping to get another shot at winning the Norway Cup. Even though Lucas is terrible at sports, he decides to try and join the team, but that’s just to impress the team captain’s girlfriend Susanne (Eira Stuedahl). With help from the coach’s son Stian (Harald William Borg Weedon), Lucas tries to win the girl while the team is trying to win the game.
This film seems to owe a lot to the ’80s. It has the same feeling to it, the same kind of humour, and the same boy meets girl story. Many elements of the story follow the type of teen romantic comedy clichÃ©s that we all know, but the film actually avoids the ending that we’d all expect. It’s for all these reasons that Cupid’s Balls is such a fun film. There have always been teen sex comedies, but I can’t think of the last time there was one that wasn’t solely focused on showing nudity. Here’s a film that a parent would be comfortable letting their 13 or 14-year-old watch. It’s very sweet and has a lead character that actually has limitations.
So often, the lead character in a film like this will overcome huge odds to accomplish something. There’s nothing wrong with that, and the message it conveys is great, but it’s not exactly the most realistic. Here, Lucas decides to join the soccer team, and with some practice he does get a bit better, but he’s a long way off from scoring the winning goal. That’s probably going to be the first thing that runs through the viewers mind. We expect him to become the star player, something the film avoids. Instead, the focus is mainly on Lucas winning Susanne over, something he attempts to do by being himself. That’s the more important message that the film carries. By just being who he is, Lucas will achieve much more in his life.
A lot of the humour comes from watching Lucas fumble around. He’s 15, tall, and lanky. He seems to have very little control over his limbs, constantly falling over himself. KÃ¥re Hedebrant does this perfectly, portraying confidence while still being completely awkward at the same time. It’s very different from his role in Let The Right One In, but there are still some quirks that have carried over from that previous character. The film isn’t strictly about Lucas though.
Playing Lucas’ friend Stian is Harald William Borg Weedon. He’s a bit overweight, and obsessed with girls, telling Lucas that over 15,000 girls will be attending the Norway Cup. His mission is to get a girlfriend, and he’ll be doing that by handing out business cards for his professional masseuse business. Stian dreams of being a coach, like his father, and we watch as the friends try and achieve their goals. The two of them together is frequently hilarious, and their friendship feels very genuine.
There are times where it seems the fun has been left out of movies for the 12 to 15-year-old age group. Cupid’s Balls brings all of that back. The film screens as part of the TIFF Next Wave Film Festival on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm. Check their website for details.