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North american Premiere

  • Norway 2008
  • 91 min
  • 35mm
  • Norweigian with English subtitles
WINNER: Best Director, 2009 Amanda Awards (Norway)



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Director: Arild Fröhlich
Screenplay: Arild Fröhlich, Lars Gudmestad
Cast: Nils Jørgen Kaalstad, Josefin Ljungman, Kyrre Hellum, Jenny Skavlan
Producers: Jim Frazee, Finn Gjerdrum, Stein B. Kvae, Mads Peter Ole Olsen
Print Source: TF1 International



Young-ish, overweight Rino (Nils Jørgen Kaalstad) is living a solitary existence in Oslo with an ever-growing porn collection and very little connection to the outside world. When he’s not pulling his knob or working a thrilling day job writing technical manuals from home, Rino draws comic books in which he sketches himself as a giant sex-crazed rhinoceros. He’s not what one would call “happy.” See, Rino needs companionship. Or at least, a lot of sex. One day, his hermetically sealed universe is blown wide open when he is forced to take on a roommate. Not just any roommate, mind you, but a cute, blonde Swedish exchange student named Malin (Josefin Ljungman), who on the surface seems like someone straight out of Rino’s sticky mountains of porn. Their lifestyles…. clash. Hysterically.

A compassionate gross-out sex comedy from Norway? Why, yes! Eschewing the tradition of loveable nerdy fat guys seen in endless waves of U.S. teen comedies, FATSO takes a much more provocative approach to its pound-pushing protagonist. Rino is hilariously and often grotesquely obsessed with sex, and the film lays his fantasies bare in jaw-dropping animated sequences that have got to be seen to be believed. He is a flawed, unhappy screwball and a raging pervert. That’s not to say that he isn’t likeable. You’re going to love him, but his character, warts and all, is a surprisingly textured one, and he will at least initially come as a bit of a shock to many non-Norwegian audiences. Writer/director Arild Fröhlich, who dubbed this film “an unromantic comedy,” might very well be Norway’s answer to Judd Apatow, gracing the universe with this unique laugh-a-minute joyride that simultaneously tackles themes of shyness, guilt and alienation with an honesty that is often startling. In spite of having been a huge box office hit in Norway, FATSO has barely been screened outside its country. That’s about to change! One of the most unforgettable outsider comedies of recent years, FATSO is a very funny film, one that has as much heart and soul as it does tits and ass.

—Mitch Davis

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