By Jeff Kubik
There’s something to be said for romantic comedies–it’s just not meant to be said in civil conversation. However, it is comforting to know that even the Danes make them, and that whether the subjects are gay or straight, the stories are still familiar.
Jorgen (Mads Mikkelsen) and Jakob (Troels Lyby) have it all: a collection of sophisticated, cosmopolitan friends with biting wits and conversation-worthy sex lives, an apartment so impeccably decorated it would give an Ikea store manager a wet dream and a relationship that appears all too perfect. However, on the night that Jakob pops the big question, an indiscretion with his new fiance’s sister-in-law, Caroline (Charlotte Munck), threatens to end their Danish bliss forever.
While Kort en lan, En (Shake It All About) is the story of two gay men and a heterosexual indiscretion, it does not dwell on the sexual orientation of its characters by any means. While the synopsis might seem to indicate that Jakob’s affair was with a woman rather than another man would be one of the central themes of the movie, it is not. More than anything, Shake It All About focuses on the familiar theme of betrayal, heterosexual or homosexual.
In fact, the movie’s cursory nods to traditional themes of gay crises are almost always satirical.
That said, Shake It All About truly epitomizes the romantic comedy genre. There are raging queens providing comic relief, tender moments that make you wonder why you’re still at home, alone, watching Danish movies. There are even scenes where you are cheering, often despite yourself, for love to triumph in the end.
As far as the genre goes, the Danes are capable of making an entertaining movie. Listening to sophisticated small talk about the sex lives of Jakob and Jorgen’s snide friends is almost enough to make you crave the inevitable reconciliation at the end of the picture.
Shake It All About is Danish and gay, but is by no means inaccessible most mainstream audiences. You’ve met Jakob and Jorgen before, they’ve been Sleepless In Seattle and Maid In Manhattan. The only question left to be asked is: “Do you want to do it again?”