In Review: Turn Me On, Goddammit! on DVD

by Matt Turner on 29/03/2013


In this provocatively titled coming of age story, a 15 year old girl in a small Norwegian village finds herself ostracised after announcing (truthfully) at a party that a boy she likes “poked her with his dick.” This openness sets a precedent. Arriving quietly from first time feature filmmaker, Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, Turn Me On, Goddammit! is an unabashed account of blossoming female sexuality that is refreshingly upfront about its protagonist’s unseemly desires without ever being vulgar.

The film has been dubbed as an antidote to the trend of American comedies led by uncomfortable young males coping with an awkwardly burgeoning sexual awareness (Superbad, American Pie) but this is misleading. While Jacobsen’s film does run against those films by casting itself as a story of a female character struggling to come to terms with her rampant libido, that is really the only point of comparison. Turn Me On, Goddammit! is frank rather than crass, gently funny rather than aggressively so, and ultimately bittersweet and truthful, states that none of the male-led sex-comedies aspire to.

Despite opening provocatively with young lead Alma (Helene Bergsholm) masturbating on the floor to a phone sex line, the subsequent film is not particularly shocking. It reveals itself not to be as boldly transgressive as this opener would suggest, but instead as an honest, gently comedic study of the inelegance of adolescence, especially when sex is introduced. Set against the sense of alienation created by living in a rural community, it is as much Alma’s estrangement that is in need of resolution as her desire.

A minor film in almost every sense, Turn Me On Goddammnit! is as humble and unassuming as its rural setting. While it’s a real grab, the sexual frankness shouldn’t feel as novel as it does, though, admittedly it’s tough to think of another film with such an open, wholesome attitude towards female sexuality.

Matt has awarded Turn Me On, Goddammit! three Torches of Truth


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