Ego a Swedish romantic comedy from director Lisa James-Larsson is a upbeat love story between a recently handicapped man and the woman tasked with taking care of him. Sebastian is the type of character who you usually root against in a movie, a good looking womanizer who picks up girls in night clubs and concocts far fetched stories to get one night stands out of his apartment. With a certain American Psycho vibe Sebastian lives his life working in a clothing store by day and trying to get signed to a record label the rest of the time. When an accident leaves him blind Sebastian is forced to rely on his parents and a girl, Mia, they have hired to be his eyes.
In typical romantic comedy fashion there are extended montages of the two main characters, once at odds, slowly becoming friends and eventually falling in love. Their relationship was once one of necessity but after finding a common love in music Mia helps Sebastian pick up his guitar again and begin to make music. When Sebastian has finally begun to accept his impairment, his world is once again changed with the help of Mia and modern science. Where this film sets itself apart from other romantic comedies is that even though you know the series of events that will bring the film to its conclusion the strength of the actors and the authentic emotion present in the film makes it a departure from the Rom-Com’s today. Martin Wallstrom (who seems to be in every Swedish movie in the festival) plays the egotistical maniac to a T but also gets a chance to flex his leading man muscles throughout the film. I don’t know what the Swedish word for manic pixie dream girl is but Mylaine Hedruel plays that role while also maintaining the authenticity it takes to not have the audience role their eyes at everything she says.
I consider myself a romantic comedy connoisseur and the amount of half thought out badly scripted movies that are consider romantic or comedies is laughable but I guess now we’ll have to import our romantic comedies if they are anything like Ego. Ego is playing again Sept 28 at the Avalon and Sept 30 at the Oriental.