A 10-year-old Norwegian girl falls in love for the first time. Her friends confront their own feelings as they witness her no-holds-barred battle with a rival student for the affections of a boy who moves into town.
User Reviews: From the very start, Totally True Love – aka, Jorgen+Anne=sant – engages us with plenty of introductions by the main and supporting characters, who actually pause to stare into the camera (and at the viewer) with warm smiles as they go about their lives. The pace is pretty fast; I found myself losing touch with the fresh cinematography because I had to read the subtitles to understand what was being said. Bear in mind, this is dialog between very active-minded 10-year-olds, and they can chat back and forth rather quickly. I wished I could have understood Norwegian, which would have freed my eyes to fully absorb the scenery and subtle glances that are shared between the characters.
We get to share the mind of the 10-year-old, full of curiosity, innocence, and imagination. But that imagination also conjures up stories that flirt with straying off the path of what’s always been considered right, once you begin to explore what’s right for you. Anne (Maria Annette Tanderø Berglyd) shares her inner secrets with her best friend, Beate (Aurora Bach Rodal) and the two give wonderful performances as deep friends who want to understand what love means in their young hearts. I wondered during the film, if they are lifelong friends in real life.
A new kid, Jørgen (Otto Garli) moves to town (into the home that the neighborhood kids know is haunted), which opens another twist in a tale that weaves itself into a truly fine yarn, as Anne and Ellen (Vilde Fredriksen Verlo) compete most for his attention. All the while, a number of subplots emerge as the children eventually must cross over to a more mature level of childhood, at the cusp of entering their teen years.
The adults are outsiders – almost to the point of being aliens – from the children’s perspective. And the parents seem so caught up in their own drama that they’re oblivious to what’s going on under their own roofs. That’s the striking part: we see a series of child-sized train wrecks taking shape, which keeps us engaged in the world of these charming kids, who rightfully are left to figure out what they want and feel, on their own. Only then, the adults are invited to share insight and guidance.
The plot seems like something ripe for a Walt Disney production. But Disney wouldn’t have been able to do this the right way, since I feel they have to stick with sanitized storytelling. Set in Norway, the story unfolds in a more likely way that brought me back to my own preteen years. I felt uncomfortable and embarrassed for them in this conflicted time of their lives, which happens universally in a child’s world. As these kids deal with the consequences of their choices, you can empathize with each child. The story is believable and all the actors are quite capable in their roles. I hope you can get to see this simply wonderful film.