The Almost Man
(Mir Eller Mindre Mann)
Film Review by Kam Williams
Unplanned Pregnancy Pressures Sophomoric Slacker to Mature in Scandinavian Social Satire
Henrik Sandvik (Henrik Rafaelsen) is a slacker who’s never had to grow up. The 35 year-old underachiever is still doted on by a helicopter mom (Anne Ma Usterud) willing to wait on him hand-and-foot.
His equally-immature BFFs are the same guys he’s hung around since high school. Their boorish behavior ranges from snapping towels on each other in locker room showers, to getting wasted at parties where they proceed to pee off the balcony, flick their boogers, and engage in fistfights and homoerotic horseplay.
None of the above sits well with Henrik’s girlfriend, Tone (Janne Heltberg Haarseth), given how she recently learned that she’s expecting a baby. Her hope is that her beau will finally grow up, now that he’s on the brink of becoming a father. But that might prove easier said than done, considering that his favorite book is Peter Pan.
The impending arrival of the couple’s bundle of joy lurks over the horizon in The Almost Man, a sublime social satire written and directed by Martin Lund. Unfolding against the backdrop of a variety of visually-captivating Norwegian settings, the film focuses mostly on Tone’s escalating frustrations with Henrik, even after he grudgingly takes a confining corporate job.
It’s not enough that he’s bringing home the bacon, when he blames a temptress he’s caught kissing for having seduced him. He even has the temerity to suggest that Tone have an abortion. But that ain’t happening.
And with only a few months to make over a philanderer who freely admits that “I’m not sure how to behave,” the mad mommy-to-be has her work cut out for her. Will Tone run out of patience before reluctant Henrik is ready to accept his responsibilities?
A droll dramedy examining the male metamorphosis from bachelor to family man.
Very Good (3 stars)
In Norwegian with subtitles
Running time: 77 minutes
Distributor: Big World Pictures