Director: Ian McCrudden
Script: Henrik Engström, Mattias Grosin, Erik Hörstadius, Ian McCrudden
Cast: Olle Sarri, Lisa Werlinder, Alexander Karim, Anna Littorin, Luke Perry
Not to be confused with Woody Allen’s 1982 comedy A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, A Swedish Midsummer Sex Comedy is an amiable enough little movie that sees three couples (and Luke Perry) gather for the annual Swedish celebration. I’m not sure if the title is a direct reference to Allen’s movie, but it’s a bit of a deceptive label; this movie has little in the way of laughs, nor much in the way of on-screen sex.
In fact, the Swedish title for this movie, released in its homeland in 2009, is Äntligen Midsommar! which translates as ‘Finally Midsummer!’ But this naughty marketing ploy pretty much sums up A Swedish Midsummer Sex Comedy. It’s a gentle, light-hearted character study with an identity crisis; a Swedish language film from an American director, that can’t quite make up its mind whether it wants to be quirky or astute.
Each of the couples neatly fits a different tint of the relationship spectrum. Anders and Maria want a child, though Anders is hoping to get around the discovery of his low sperm count with a donation from a best friend. Perfect couple Susanne and Emil’s relationship is tormented by Emil’s love for old flame Eva. There’s also the stereotypically smug couple expecting a child. Amongst the Swedish cast sits Luke Perry, as conceited, womanising gambler Sam, an old friend of Emil and our English-speaking anchor in this bilingual movie. The craggier and further distanced be becomes from his heartthrob era, the more I like Perry, and its fun to see him take on a role that shines a cynical light on the Beverly Hills 90210 existence.
I think it’s safe to divulge that over the course of the film these couples argue, split, reunite and even switch partners, and that the movie works its way with a reassuring “life goes on” epilogue. Audiences wouldn’t have it any other way. A Swedish Midsummer Sex Comedy is a sweet, inoffensive – unless you find brief shots of full frontal nudity offensive, in which case grow up – romp that almost feels like it was designed with couples in mind. She’ll enjoy the chick flick premise, he’ll ponder which of the Swedish lasses he’d opt for, and they’ll both appreciate the occasionally perceptive commentary on the fickleness of human coupling.
Extras: An interview with director Ian McRudden.