Review | Hard lessons to learn in ‘So Damn Easy Going’

So Damn Easy Going | Dir: Christoffer Sandler 

Life is anything but easy going for eighteen year old Joanna (Nikki Hanseblad), or Jojo as she is known to her friends. Not that she has many friends as she is embarrassed about her home situation and medical condition.

After the death of her mother, her father just seems to sit on the couch in a dark living room watching mindless quiz shows and can’t escape his helpless depression. Trying to juggle school and looking after herself, Jojo realises that her ADHD medication has run out and there is no money for more medication.

The pawn shop won’t take her skis or juicer and she unsuccessfully tries to sell condoms she had been given by her ‘fuck buddy’ at her school. Pretty soon, her body is taken over by sensory overload with constant nervous ticks, panic attacks and flashing lights that invade her brain.

School takes second place as she tries desperately to work out how to get hold of some money as her father can’t even pay the power bill. Then, there is the attention she is being given from the gorgeous Audrey (Melina Benett Paukkonen), a classmate who is new to the school and putting out vibes of undeniable attraction.

There are a lot of issues in this film and, a bit like Jojo’s muddled brain and erratic behaviour, they are all jumbled up and bouncing off each other. Based on a YA novel by Jenny Jägerfeld, the film has effectively captured what it must be like for a teenager when everything seems to be coming at them all at once.

Jojo makes some terrible decisions and I disagree with the publicity blurb that describes the film as ‘sweet’ coming of age drama. The audience becomes increasingly uncomfortable as she burns the very people who could be helping her. There are some hard lessons to learn on the road to survival.

So Damn Easy Going is part of the Carlsberg Scandinavian Film Festival which opens on Wednesday 20 July at Luna Leederville with the screening the lavish historical drama Margrete: Queen Of The North, and runs at Luna Leederville, Luna SX and Raine Square until Wednesday 10 August.

Lezly Herbert

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