Remember the little lesbian classic Imagine Me & You? Of course you do. Now picture it but as its grown up version and you get Alexandra-Therese Keining’s stunning Kyss Mig. This is the first feature length film since Show Me Love to come out of Sweden with a lesbian storyline, if you can believe it!
I shall forward this review by highlighting how tired I am of seeing a woman married or about to get married to a man who catches the eye of an actual lesbian, falls for her, but has to deal with the whole “am I gay, what does this mean” conflict. Tired I tell you. So when I saw the trailer for Kyss Mig, I was intrigued but worried. If you were too, read on, as I am about to shatter your doubts.
Here’s what you need to know: Mia (Ruth Vega Fernandez) and Tim (Joakim Nätterqvist) are on their way to Mia’s estrange father Lasse (Krister Henriksson)’s birthday and engagement party. Elizabeth (Lena Endre), Lasse’s bride to be is Frida (Liv Mjönes)’s mother. Not long after joining the party, Mia sets eyes on Frida. In an attempt to get to know one another, Lasse arranges for Mia to spend time with him, Elizabeth and Frida on a remote island. Never the reliable one, Lasse doesn’t show and so begins the Mia/Frida love affair.
Now, as I have mentioned, Alexandra-Therese Keining does something with her screenplay that no other lesbian film of this genre had the guts to do thus far: She gives her characters enough depth and reasoning for this whole love affair to not only feel real, but to also keep her audience members (like me) away from sheer annoyance, feeling like this is “one of those films again.” The way it stands out is by answering questions and dealing with issues completely and honestly. Tim isn’t painted as a bad guy, nor is their relationship particularly bad. Mia is actually bi-sexual and has been in love with a woman before. Her relationship with her dad is flawed, distant but is dealt with realism. Frida has her own relationship to deal with, just as Lasse and Elisabeth struggle with theirs. A real conflict and search for balance is developed in order for Mia and Frida to be together that doesn’t solely revolve around being gay or in another relationship. All the characters are three dimensional, truthful and thus all make sense in their choices. Keining hasn’t just created a lesbian love story, she’s painted a touching family portrait, too.
Kiss Mig is incredibly reminiscent of a number of lesbian films, including Imagine Me & You for its subject matter and some of its scenes, D.E.B.S. for its ending, When Night is Falling for its visually breathtaking cinematography. The casting is spot on, the chemistry between the female leads is electric (and for sure they are both ridiculously good looking!), the music uplifting, and it’s funny and heartbreaking enough to make this one of your new favorite movies. I should highlight the sex scenes — tremendous, sensual, stunning and simply sexy! Kyss Mig is as honest as it is beautiful. A real tour de lesbian force!
Kyss Mig is doing the festival rounds and will be released through Wolf Video later this year in the US, and through TLA Releasing in the UK on July 23.