Together (Sweden/Denmark/Italy; 106min.)

directed by: Lukas Moodysson
starring: Lisa Lindgren; Michael Nyqvist; Emma Samuelsson; Sam Kessel
Diane says: "Thanks for the recommendations for TOGETHER, the Swedish comedy about the disintegration and transformation of a commune. What I particularly admire about this film is that it uses its two hours so well: every scene is integral to the story; you do feel that you've really gotten to know these people (and there's plenty of them)--it helps that just about every shot is very close in. Compare that to the hodgepodge of MULHOLLAND DRIVE....

A feel-good, entertaining, and witty film. I think I'd nominate it for screenplay and ensemble." 4 cats
Laura says: "Writer/director Lukas Moodysson (SHOW ME LOVE) creates a warm comedy about a group of people forced to reconsider preconceived notions and how only those willing to take a chance on change are able to make the connections that count in life. While Moodysson doesn't give equal weight to all his characters, making his film's structure unbalanced, his fine cast and true human observations are ultimately what count." 3 cats
For Laura's complete review: ""
Michael says: "Elisabeth takes her two children and leaves home after her husband strikes her. The only person she can turn to is her younger brother Goran, who is living in a commune with six other adults and two children. Politics, sexual adventures, feminism and vegetarianism are just some of the issues Elisabeth must wrestle with as she enters this new alternative family. Both she and the members of the commune end up going through changes... as does Elisabeth's husband, who realizes the depth of hurt he has caused and makes a real effort to change.

Everything works out in TOGETHER, but it's not an easy win for any of the characters. Moodysson makes his characters go through a lot of soul-searching before making their decisions. Lisa Lindgren is a standout in the ensemble cast as Elisabeth, as is her awkward, bespectacled daughter Eva, played by Emma Samuelsson.

I was worried during the first quarter of the film, that there wasn't really a plot. Things kind of meander as we get to know the various characters. However, as we approached the halfway point, things started to come together really nicely, and the ultimate resolution was really well-done." 4 cats
Nathaniel says: "This endearing comedic drama is an ensemble film set in the Stockholm of the 70s. It skims the surface of counterculture politics at the time and dives deep into the pros and cons of communal living. The plot, such as it is, deals with the integration of two families in one communal home. The first family is a group of bohemians rejecting traditional society roles and conveniences. They're vegetarians, sexually adventurous, politically inclined, and deeply interested in community as opposed to the standard nuclear family arrangement. The second family is a mom and her two kids, fleeing an abusive husband and neglectful father...who realizes quite quickly how much he's lost...

The resolutions of the intertwining characters' storylines will strike some as pat or predictable. It is true that the film rarely surprises, but what it does it does winningly. The film is consistently and even vigorously amusing for its entire running time. That doesn't happen every day in the movies. There's nary a dull moment in this comedy and the dramatic resonance that emerges is especially lovely for having arrived so pleasantly. But perhaps most impressively, it does what very few movies even attempt to do: It paints a vivid and compassionate picture of lives filled with ideas and nuance. By the end of the film you feel you know these people. They may aggravate or annoy you but you understand them. And, despite the unruly living arrangements you may want to move in yourself to argue, love, and share your life with a group. In "Together" the great mistake of life seems to be allowing loneliness to occur.

The first thing I noticed leaving the theater after seeing this fine Swedish export is how good I felt. It wasn't the typical and fleeting "feelgood" effect that Hollywood continually strives for, but a real and genuine pleasure at having spent two hours of my life with the characters in the film... That's always something to treasure when you leave a theater. "
Stephen says: "While the communal life doesn't work for everyone in this story, the thrust of the narrative comes out mostly positive, and most of the lives we see have improved because of the loosening of restraints and expectations this experiment made possible. While TOGETHER never exactly achieves the sublimity of another older film on this subject, JONAH, WHO WILL BE 25 IN THE YEAR 2000, it will certainly warm the hearts of most of its audience."
For Stephen's complete review: ""