Óskar (Björn Thors) and Maggi (Jóel Sæmundsson) are two thirty-something brothers who are equally clueless at romance – but for very different reasons. Óskar has recently relocated back to the small town where he grew, swapping his city flat for his parent’s suburban house to give all involved a change of scenery. On his return, he reunites with childhood crush and current vet Anna (Sara Dögg Ásgeirsdóttir) but is reluctant to listen to his heart. Maggi, meanwhile, has just had his own heart broken by his ex and now bounces from one relationship to the next, each time convinced he’s found his soulmate.
This is an unconventional rom-com that’s very Nordic in its nature; it’s almost impossible to envision a similar premise working in the hands of an American or British film studio. But the gentle humour and unwavering humanity of Maximilian Hult’s script, alongside the relentlessly unthreatening disposition of his characters, make for an enjoyable if slightly middle-of-the-road watch. There’s almost literally zero malice or ill-will in the entire narrative; even when events take a turn for the traumatic or characters act unreasonably or egotistically, the consequences are invariably fixable. Everything will be alright in the end.
That, in a nutshell, seems to be the mantra of the movie. Despite the fact that both brothers are emotionally immature and hopeless at finding the love they crave, despite the innate awkwardness that dominates almost every scene, everything will come up roses eventually. And even if it doesn’t, that’s okay, too. It’s a reassuring outlook on the nature of humanity and one that’s refreshing in the perpetual pessimism and finger-pointing that’s often found in the media (both the mainstream and social varieties) of the modern day. Coupled with the wry comedy and strong performances from all the cast (questionable crocodile tears aside), it’s an undemanding and pleasant film that won’t change your world, but just might make you more at peace with it.