I had more compassion for the 13-year-old version of myself after watching the movie “We Are The Best!”
The Swedish film centers on middle school-aged girls who, even after the punk era has seemingly crested in the early '80s, decide to start a punk band. Their bedrooms are lined with posters of the records and bands they like, they disappear into records when their parents annoy them or let them down. They lust after the boys featured in music mags (even though they scarcely know what lust even is) as much as they'd like to compete with them on stage.
“We Are the Best!” is a merciful and subtly celebratory portrait of the goof-toothed age of girls, when friendships start forming around the things you can't stand as much as the things you love, when your personality is defined by group view and your own rebellion within that crew… and by your hair, and makeup and your independence to wield all of the above like weapons.
In the exclusive clip above, the problem for these Stockholm kids Bobo and Klara — as it is for so many budding bands — is that they can't play anything. They don't own instruments, they have no songs. The guitar-wielding bro-dudes at the rec center just took the wind out of their sails by mocking the girls' looks, the mohawked, socially awkward “prettiest girls in town.”
They take the power back by using good old-fashioned bureaucracy: they reserved the rehearsal room out from under their hecklers. As the latter files out of the room, the girls suppress laughter, and then they get to work making noise.
Overall, the flick is recommended watching for everyone in need of some good, hearty racket, tweens and beyond. “We Are the Best!” — directed by Lukas Moodysson and starring the phenomenal Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin and Liv Lemoyne — opens Friday (May 30).