(Such is Life)

ROLE:  Kalle Andersson

GENRE: Comedic Drama

COUNTRY: Sweden/Norway

PREMIERED:  October 25, 1996


With only two weeks to go before she turns the dreaded 30, Tin-Tin, a Swedish piano player hastily tries to achieve her two highest goals: to perform in the lounge of the Grand Hotel in Stockholm and to find a husband. Tin-Tin's endeavors provide the basis of this black Swedish comedy. She has a live-in lover, but Paul, who hosts the popular radio call-in show "Such Is Life," shows little interest in serious commitment, even though the subject of his series is how to make relationships work. Tin-Tin is also the object of her manager Stef's hottest fantasies. Olle, the owner of a large hotel has similar designs, though he is married. All of them are floored when she suddenly announces that she is marrying a Norwegian industrial tycoon in a tiny, picturesque northern town. That wedding is where the bulk of the film's most darkly humorous moments occur.

Program Details


Helena Bergström - Tin-Tin
Lena Nyman - Siv Matsson
Sverre Anker Ousdal - Harald Knoop
Jakob Eklund - Paul Karlsson
Philip Zandén - Stef Bäckman
Sven-Bertil Taube - Roffe Nordström
 Rolf Lassgård - Olle Sundqvist
Per Jansen - Norwegian industrialist
Lasse Kolstad - Norwegian priest
Arne Thomas Olsen - Harald's father
Michael Nyqvist - Kalle Andersson

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Director - Colin Nutley
Cinematography - Peter Mokrosinski
Music - Mikael Bolyos & Marie Fredriksson

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131 minutes

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Trailer at Youtube

Aftonbladet review:

Nutley has woven a story in which the scenes vacillate between seriousness and humor, and are at times almost macabre. The recording may be a bit too slow, but at the end is the best Nutley has done to date.

There is a lot to praise: the actors, the dialogue, the cinematography, the superb way to create "Swedish" atmosphere but above all two scenes are stuck in memory:

The Swedish police's permanent police Lassgård showcases a whole new page. The scene where he breaks down in explaining his love for Tin-Tin is a show of great acting.

The wedding scene of the film is a future classic, a completely brilliant mix of comedy and tragedy. It is on the same level as the best scenes in "Four Weddings and a Funeral".

As a whole, "Such is life" is a big Swedish movie, the best Colin Nutley has done beside "Black Jack".

Gunnar Rehlin, Variety:

When the film opens, Tin-Tin is two weeks away from her 30th birthday. She is surrounded by men:  she lives with Paul (Jakob Eklund), the charming but wild host of a radio show, Such Is Life, to which listeners call in with their relationship problems; her cynical manager, Stef (Philip Zanden), lusts after her; and so does married hotelier Olle (Rolf Lassgard). She also meets a Norwegian industrialist, Harald (Sverre Anker Ousdal), and, when he proposes, she much to her own surprise accepts.

The wedding is scheduled to be held at a small church by a Norwegian fjord, and events quickly take a turn into a black and very funny farce. Others in Tin-Tin's life include her estranged parents. Her mother (Lena Nyman) is a man-eater, while her father (Sven-Bertil Taube) is always away traveling.

Lenser Peter Mokrosinski (taking over from Nutley's regular cameraman, Jens Fischer) has come up with a stylish look for the picture. Editing by Perry Schaffer is sharp, and Marie Fredriksson, of the w.k. rock group Roxette, has written an ear-catching theme song. Performances are all tops, even though Nyman playing a sexually voracious character has almost become a cliche. Lassgard is convincing as the love-struck Olle, Zanden is delightful as the cynical Stef, and Eklund has the right combination of cocky arrogance and sadness to make Paul believable. However, the center of the film is Bergstrom, a highly photogenic actress who dominates the frame whenever she's on. Nutley knows this, and uses her as much as he can.