How to spot a jerk:
- Look for the guy with beady eyes, searching for girls who blink nervously, smack their lips, or cross their arms. He looks a bit like an old Nokia 3310 ‘Snake’ addict playing a game – except he has no mobile phone in his hand.
- The guy has some kind of a crazy hobby. He either goes to no-music silent parties, knits Premiere League clubs official scarves, or collects sand from every beach he’s been to. And he explains it by saying, that he’s ‘kind of a geek’.
- He might be very handsome, but is generally on the average. But he’s also so charismatic that everybody around him seems convinced that floppy arms are better while making love or sausage-shaped toes indeed help while running long distances.
- He overuses adjectives and underuses pronouns. He will call you ‘gorgeous’, ‘seductive’, ‘sexy’ or ‘charming’, but he will never say ‘we’ or even ‘I’ in relation to ‘you’.
- He’s like a vampire – very real, hot-blooded at night, but in the morning he dissapears, leaving a body mark on the bedsheets or an abandoned leather jacket with red lining.
And there is always this fast-flowing boy-girl conversation that leaves the latter with a sweet taste of connection and long-lasting bond. For the viewers, it feels like watching a tennis match, with the balls being passed right about the net, with great serves, outstanding smatches and breathtaking volleys. If you enjoy love sports, you should see Stockholm (2013) by Rodrigo Sorogoyen.
He (Javier Pereira) is, essentially, a jerk. She (Aura Garrido) has big sad eyes of a cervine and fragile-looking porcelain skin. They meet at a party, where he confesses love at first sight. She discourages him, but he doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. We watch a sparkling conversation filled with big words and high notes, and we end up believing that these two have managed to find each other in this sea full of human algae and dirty lies. Their conversation does seem theatrical, though, and a little scripted, as if they have both abandoned their ambiguities and decided to fully accept the roles assigned. The first part of the movie is essentially filled with words, full of charm and wit.
But, then, morning comes and everything changes. She is still porcelain-skinned, but also appears to have some mysterious mental problem we know no details of. He’s distant, cold, unwelcoming. They continue their game, but this time there are no rules to follow and no scripts to rely on. He wants to kick her out of the apartment, she refuses to go, they fight and engage in a brutal control-seeking clash where everyone wants to have the last word.
And, then, everything goes quiet. The culminant scene is very ascetic, free of colourful dialogue and wordy energy flow. Its minimalistic power leaves you speechless, too. It’s a bit as if the director played tricks on you: an initially light love story turns into a deep meditation about the dangers of physical attraction.
So what do I know? Maybe it’s not that easy to spot a jerk, after all. Or maybe, it doesn’t matter. There will always be people who fall for this illusion of uniqueness and these tricks people play, whether we are talking about real life, or simply just a movie.
You’ll enjoy this movie if:
a) you believe in soulmates, but can accept that things aren’t always what they seem at first glance.
b) you enjoy looking at objectively attractive people. I’m sorry, but both Aura and Javier are just a real pleasure for the eye.
c) you don’t mind movies that piss you off, whether we are talking about the title tricks or about the sudden twists in the plot.
Directed by: Rodrigo Sorogoyen
Written by: Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Isabel Peña
Produced by: Alberto Del Campo, Eduardo Villanueva, Borja Soler, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Omar A. Razzak