101 Reykjavik (2000) is an Icelandic comedy about a
30 something named Hlynur who still lives with his mother, survives
on unemployment, and is not very lucky with women, other than
Thrudur Vilhjalmdottir, who for some unaccountable reason is sweet
on him. His greatest ambition is to learn to wake-up before the sun
goes down. Life gets rather too interesting when his mother's
Flamenco dance instructor, Victoria Abril, stays with him over the
holidays, while his mother is visiting family. The two end up having
wild sex. Mom (Hanna María Karlsdóttir) returns, and Hylur's life
gets totally bizarre when he learns that Thrudur and the Flamenco
instructor are both pregnant. Moreover, his mom has decided she is a
lesbian, and the Flamenco instructor turns out to be her lover.
Seems he was a convenient sperm donor.
The title is roughly equivalent to Beverly Hills 90210, as the 101
postal district is the trendy section of Reykjavik. Of course, that
means little. As Hylnur says, "Nobody lives in Reykjavik unless they
are born here. Even the ghosts are bored." The local pastime seems
to be spending nights in a local club drinking and having sex.
Remember, the nights are 6 months long.
Hylnur is far from a
sympathetic character and nobody else in the story is especially
likeable. However, it is interesting enough, has enough great nudity
and features enough excellent performances that relating to a
character isn't necessary in this case. It won a slew of festival
awards. This is a very good
foreign comedy, and a view of a culture new to me.
It is half in broken English and half in Icelandic, with
English subtitles for the Icelandic parts.