Directed by Lone Scherfig, starring Anders W Berthelsen, Anette Støvelbæk, Peter Gantzler, Ann Eleonora Jørgensen and Lars Kaalund.
An apt description of the average Dogme 95 film is that each one is the polar opposite of the ubiquitous forgettable blockbuster. Best known for the dark thematics of 'The Idiots' and 'The Celebration', here they've produced what can only be described as a romantic comedy drama (even if the rules of Dogme mean no definition by genre). Set in a small Danish town it draws a group of strangers together through the vehicle of an Italian language class.
Andreas (Berthelsen) is a young Pastor in a new parish, trying to assume his role and fit in as an outsider. Widowed some months before, he encounters Olympia (Støvelbæk), a clumsy bakery assistant struggling to look after her infirm and belligerent father. Jorgen Mørtensen (Gantzler) is a hugely likeable character referred to throughout by his full name and suffering from impotence. He manages a hotel and restaurant where Halfvinn (Kaalund), a temperamental waiter, is employed. Halfvinn begins an affair with local hairdresser Karen (Jørgensen) who splits her time between a small salon and visiting her alcoholic mother in hospital.
The intimate gathering of the Italian class each week sets in motion a series of pairings-off, friendships and discovery of secrets about each other’s lives. While some of the coincidences stretch belief a little, this can be forgiven for eschewing the clichés when mixing romance and comedy. It is a believable, warm tale of lonely adults looking for love.
While it lacks the impact of previous Dogme output, the light-heartedness of this film does not take away from its humanity. Not so much the thinking-person's romantic comedy as a diverting coagulation of stories.