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Foreign Film - Norway - Buddy

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Buddy
Nicolai Cleve Broch, Aksel Hennie, Anders Baasmo Christiansen
Directed by Morten Tyldum
Norway 2003
Norwegian / English subtitles
Film Movement 2004
100 Minutes
www.filmmovement.com

You have to give Buddy a few minutes to set up its story before this film from Norway gets interesting, especially since its opening mixture of film and Jackass style video camera footage is a bit disconcerting. Once you figure out what is going on this foreign Film Movement DVD is rather enjoyable. Buddy is your basic but better than most movie about slackers who do not want to grow up but end up having to.

Kristoffer spends his days taping everything he and his pal Geir do in between working a dead end job putting up billboards. They have a special affinity for Jackass style stunts but this hides something more. Also starring in Kristoffer's movies is web designer, former world traveler, and agoraphobic roommate Stig Inge. These home movies are fortuitously discovered by a local TV station that airs some of them and make Kristoffer a small screen celebrity.  

Celebrity and filming your life and friends come with a price and this is where Buddy becomes a bit uneven. Morten Tyldum tries to tell one story too many at the same time and, perhaps to counterbalance the voyeurism of the video footage, he is reluctant to reveal a lot about his characters. This gets in the way almost as much as his main character's not quite interesting love life and takes some of the edge away from the repercussions of Kristoffer's movies on the people around him. Things do pick up and become interesting again after a while. The ending is a matter of taste.

An interesting scene for fans of stand-up comedy shows a comic bombing sounds pretty much the same in any language including Norwegian.

By the way a good plot synopsis can make quite a difference: Film Movement sent us their release of this Norwegian film and their summary makes it sound a lot more promising than the Canadian release of the same foreign film DVD at my local Blockbuster.

The Film Movement release Norwegian movie Buddy comes with A Ninja Pays Half My Rent, a short film by Steven K. Tsuchidas: great title for a not bad short.

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