"Sun"-buddy up there likes him
The Swedish film "Under the Sun" is a very mild but pleasant romance about an illiterate, middle-aged farmer who's finally ready for love.
By JOSHUA TANZER
Okay, an extra 30 years is a long time to wait for the onset of adolescence, but Olof is finally ready. The big, hulky, illiterate, middle-aged farmer puts a semi-transparent help-wanted ad in the local paper seeking a housemaid starting with a lie.
"Farmer, 39, own car. Seeks lonely young woman as housekeeper."
|UNDER THE SUN|
|Original title: Under Solen.|
Directed by: Colin Nutley.
Written by: Johanna Hald, David Neal, Colin Nutley.
Adapted from a novel by: H.E. Bates.
Cast: Rolf Lassgard, Helena Bergstrom, Johan Widerbergm Gunilla Roor, Jonas Falk, Linda Ulvaeus.
In Swedish with English subtitles.
Better ask for a picture, the newspaper clerk suggests tactfully.
So who shows up but a gorgeous, blonde, city woman the likes of whom aren't often seen in this little village. Olof picks up Ellen in his Sunday suit with his dog in the back of his old Volvo. She's got a tasteful suit, severely coiffed hair and spotless white gloves not the ideal outfit for country housekeeping but not bad for a blind date.
Olof apologizes for the state of the house:
"Not a lot has been done since Mother died."|
"When did she die?"
"Nine years ago, in August."
And it's been longer than that since Olof had a date. Correction, in all those years living with mama apparently he's never had a date. He's not too sure how to woo the lovely Ellen but maybe if they're in the same house together one thing might lead to another. That is, if Ellen's mysterious past doesn't get in the way and Olof's alleged friend Erik doesn't steal her away with his constant, preening flirtations.
"Under the Sun" is a very simple, very mild romance but a nice one a good date movie, among other things. Why we root for this odd couple the naive, unformed Olof and the sophisticated urbanite Ellen is hard to say, but I think this is really a parable of everyone's coming-of-age. Olof is 40-something on the outside but he's a little boy on the inside, aching for a woman's love but not grown-up enough to understand its mystery. His desire, awkwardness, joy and sadness are like our own with a touch of comedy because he's a teenager in an older man's skin.
|AUGUST 3, 2001|
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Reader comments on Under the Sun:
apoplogy from Sally Speers, May 16, 2003
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