I find that often other countries deal with some subjects better in film than America. One subject is homosexuality. There are very few gay main characters in American films and usually they are single and most of the plots deal with them being out of not. The Swedish film (with English subtitles) Patrik, Age 1.5 is not about that, but it is about the hope and heartache surrounding adoption.
Göran (Gustaf Skarsgård) and Sven Skoogh (Torkel Petersson) are a gay married couple who want to adopt a baby. Well Göran does anyway, Sven has a daughter from a prior relationship and is not really wanting more children. After many unsuccessful attempts, the adoption agency sends them a letter stating that they have a boy, Patrik, age 1,5, that they are looking to place. Göran and Sven decide to take in the 1.5 year old child, assuming that the comma was supposed to be a period. When Patrik arrives it becomes obvious that they assumed the wrong typo. It was a case of the comma being in the wrong place, Patrik is 15 years old and a juvenile delinquent. Now Göran and Sven have to decide whether to keep Patrik, who is also homophobic, or send him back like so many families have done before.
I love this movie. I think it provide a good portrayal of the highs and lows of trying to adopt and how it affects the couple’s relationship. But it does so in a way that doesn’t make it too depressing, while at the same time taking the subject seriously. I also like that they cover all aspects of Göran and Sven’s relationship. It’s not only about the potential new child and it’s not just from their perspective. We also see the situation though the eyes of Patrik, the neighbors, and even Sven’s ex-wife and daughter.
I thought the ending was a bit cheesy and sure it could’ve been a bit deeper, but I think neither diminished this from being a really good film.