Review: ‘As Seen on TV’

A satire on modern-day celebrity, "As Seen on TV" has its merits but is ultimately unsatisfying. Helmer-writer Fredrik Lindstrom co-directed the superior comedy "Adult Behavior" a couple of years ago with Felix Herngren; "TV" tries for the same style, but something is lacking without Herngren. B.O. has been below expectations.

A satire on modern-day celebrity, “As Seen on TV” has its merits but is ultimately unsatisfying. Helmer-writer Fredrik Lindstrom co-directed the superior comedy “Adult Behavior” a couple of years ago with Felix Herngren; “TV” tries for the same style, but something is lacking without Herngren. B.O. has been below expectations since opening late September, capturing only half of its predecessor’s 200,000 admissions.

Alexander (Johan Rheborg) is Sweden’s most famous TV talkshow host, but, despite his glamorous and babe-full life, he feels something is missing. One day, he’s interviewed by journalist Asa (Alexandra Rapaport), who doesn’t fall for his celebrity and wit; Alexander, alas, becomes very interested in the elusive woman. Meantime, he’s approached by old school friend Ralf (Kristian Luuk, a real TV host), who convinces Alexander to get Ralf’s unwanted book published under the former’s name. Too late, Alexander, who hadn’t read the manuscript, discovers it’s a controversial stand against family values. Pic is often both predictable and implausible, though some side stories do ring true. Among the actors, Rapaport overshadows both Rheborg and Luuk.

As Seen on TV

Sweden

Production

A Svensk Filmindustri release of a Svensk Filmindustri production, in association with SVT Fiktion. (International sales: Svensk Filmindustri, Stockholm.) Produced by Jan Blomgren, Waldemar Bergendahl. Executive producer, Kerstin Bonnier. Directed, written by Fredrik Lindstrom.

Crew

Camera (color), Carl Sundberg; editor, Fredrik Abrahamsen; music, Robert Johnson & Punchdrunks; art director, Louise Gylling; costume designer, Charlotta Gustafsson. Reviewed at Rigoletto, Stockholm, Sept. 13, 2001. Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Johan Rheborg, Alexandra Rapaport, Kristian Luuk, Pia Johansson, Gerd Hegnell, Martina Haag, Pernilla Stalfelt, Karolina Rahm, Cecilia Frode, Kajsa Svensson.
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