Family Equals Love
Changing the Definition of Family
Photo by Rolf Konow - © 2011 - Nordisk Film
Kiss Me is a Swedish film, but its themes are universal.
Mia Sundstrom (played by Ruth Vega Fernandez) is a young woman with a fiancée, a growing business, and an estranged family. The movie begins with a brief montage of her day before flying out to see her father (Lasse, acted by KristerHenriksson) for his sixtieth birthday. When she arrives, she sees not only her father, but Elisabeth, her soon-to-be step-mother (portrayed by Lena Endre), and Frida, her soon-to-be step-sister (Liv Mjönes).
At her father’s birthday party, they celebrate his birthday, his engagement to Elisabeth, and Mia’s engagement to Tim(who is played by JoakimNätterqvist).
The interactions between the family members are strained and awkward. With family members who never met, or haven’t seen each other for a significant period of time, these scenes are very painfully and accurately portrayed.
Mia struggles the most with Frida. They are oppositional in character. They have difficulty reading and understanding each other. Their communication and interactions are unusual, to say the least.
Mia goes to Fyn, an island where Elisabeth and Frida live. Elisabeth and Mia discuss putting an addition on the house. Though, what starts out to be an innocent, architectural visit becomes something much greater.
Trying to break the ice with Mia, Frida takes her into the woods of Fyn. After a short walk, Mia finds herself leaning in to kiss Frida. After a few moments, she pulls away and shuts down completely. A fair amount of time passes where she can hardly see or speak to either Elisabeth or Frida. Finally, one night breaks down the barrier all together. Mia and Frida not only resume communication, but they share an incredible night of intimacy and passion.
Mia isextremely confused. She loves Tim, or so she says. Yet, she has immediately fallen in love with the woman who is to become her step-sister. She is wrought with guilt and stress. She begins to argue with her father and Tim due to her emotional state. She decides to end her trip early because she cannot be around Frida any longer.
She tries to return to her old life, but her heart isn’t in it. She goes through the motions of work, life, and wedding preparations. But her mind and her heart are still fixated on Frida. Unbeknownst to Mia, Frida is equally infatuated all the way back in Fyn.
Mia musters up all the bravery that she can, and she goes back to find Frida. What ensues is a deep, complex affair. The devotion and passion these women share is extraordinary. We watch them grow as people. We see true, unhindered love. It’s tremendous to see.
Mia now realizes who she is, and who she loves; she still can’t seem to let go of Tim, though more for the fact that she feels the need to save face, rather than to be genuine.
Throughout this entire film, we are watching not only the love affair between Frida and Mia, we are watching how they and their relationship impact all the people around them. The family that was already being redefined was being redefined even further. Tension between Lasse, Mia’s father, and Elisabeth grows and comes to a head. Mia and her father are once again estranged. The love and life between Mia and Tim dissipates into nothing. Frida betrays her partner in the worst possible way. Every person is affected by the actions and relationship of Mia and Frida.
What causes everything to completely shatter like glass is a meeting with a priest to perform the wedding ceremony for Mia and Tim. Mia can’t live this charade anymore. She runs out on Tim and out of the church to meet up with Frida as they had planned, but she came far too late. Frida had waited, but she was finally leaving when Mia arrived. Mia now lost her fiancée, her home, and the woman she loved.
Like any good love story, there’s a dramatic scene at an airport as Mia is running to find Frida. However, this film unabashedly shows the reality that she could not past security to get to Frida. It’s a beautiful mix of fairy tale love and reality. With nothing left to lose and everything to gain, Mia flies to Barcelona to find Frida. As complex, twisted, and confusing as their relationship was, Kiss Me gives us the happy ending we’ve been hoping for.
The beauty of this movie is that so much is spoken without dialogue. There are such beautiful close ups of the actors’ faces, and you know exactly what they are thinking and feeling without saying a word. There is a wonderful depth to the people and the story line, shown in just their eyes and expressions.
Kiss Me is a movie that is chock full of splendor and emotion. There is such gravity and complexity to all of the characters, their relationships, and the story line. It is a beautiful film about these people. It’s a phenomenal look at human connections, relationships, and the definition of family. This is one movie you do not want to miss.