SIFF Double Feature – Love and Lemons and B for Boy

Love and Lemons: Love and Lemons is a Swedish movie directed by Teresa Fabik about Agnes (Rakel Wärmländer), a young waitress who has the horrible luck of getting fired and dumped in the same evening. She accidentally causes mayhem at the fancy restaurant where she works, and it turns out her douchey musician boyfriend (Richard Ulfsäter) has found someone more suited to his desires. Agnes is distraught, but a friend of hers, Kalle (Eric Ericson), convinces her to open an upscale restaurant with him. Agnes borrows money from her mother, but is soon over her head with no customers or money coming in. It turns out however, her neighbor is a VERY important food critique (Sverrir Gudnason), and – while she feels very guilty about it – she cozies up to him to get him to come and eat at her restaurant. Without letting him know that is a part owner. Or that she is anyway involved. As one can imagine, romantic complications ensue.

There is nothing original here. Not one thing. And I am totally fine with that. This is a sweet, gentle-natured romantic comedy, and I had a great time watching it. I don’t know what the hell happened, but the rom com has kind of gone down the tubes in the last decade. There are some good ones, but they are few and far between. I’ll give extra points for originality, but at this point I’ll take what I can get. All of the leads in this movie are adorably cute, the bad guys are properly slimy – but not too slimy – and the food looks amazing. For health reasons I am on a crazy restricted diet and the food in this movie was like torture. But good torture. The kind you enjoy. You know what I mean. Don’t judge me. Anyway, This is a delightful movie that made me smile and contributed to the nonsuckiness of my day. Also, the romance is very sweet (PGish – there is a scene in bed, but no one gets nekkid), and this would be a great movie to see with your parents and/or children old enough to like romance. I say take some time off from your critical brain and settle in to have a little light fun. There’s not enough of it in the world, and you should take advantage when you can.

Love and Lemons plays on May 23rd at the Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center, May 25th at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, and May 29th at the Egyptian Theatre.

Final Grade B+

B for Boy: Amaka (Uche Nwadili) seems to have it all. She has a great job, a loving husband, a beautiful daughter, and is pregnant with her second child. Her mother-in-law (Ngozi Nwaneto) is pressuring her to have an ultrasound, but Amaka is not realy interested in knowing if she going to have a girl or a boy; she doesn’t really care either way. Turns out, she’s the only one. She is Nigerian, and it is very important to her family that her husband have a son to carry on the family name. While her husband Nonso (Nonso Odogwu) is off on a business trip, she succumbs to the pressure and gets the ultrasound and learns she is having a boy, but a couple of days later she miscarries. Before she can tell Nonso, his brother dies, and she just can’t bring herself to give him more bad news. As the weeks go on, she gets more and more desperate, and the situation is made even more unpleasant by Nonso’s family relentlessly pleading with him to him to take a second wife who might give him a boy. As the only remaining son, they think he needs a male heir. Both Amaka and Nonso consider themselves modern people, but are faced with intense pressure to bow to traditional expectations.

This is a really good film, although I found it to be a little stressful. It’s almost two hours long, and I spent most of that time wishing Amaka would just hurry up and confess. (Although that tension is kind of what the movie is about.) I think it’s about 15 minutes too long, and that extra length slows the pacing down just a little too much. Also, it’s got shaky cam which I’m not so in love with.  But those are my only complaints. This is director Chika Anadu’s first feature film and it’s a pretty impressive piece of filmmaking. The acting is very good, and I found myself invested in Amaka’s story. The film also does a good job of making Nonso a well-rounded character. He’s struggling with the competing desires of everyone around him, and just doesn’t know how to balance the needs of his mother and his wife.

B For Boy plays June 2nd at the SIFF Cinema Uptown and June 6th at the AMC Pacific Place 11.

Final Grade B+


Adelaide enjoys watching all kinds of movies, but is never going to see Titanic unless there is a sizable amount of money involved.

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