TLA Releasing // 2010 // 93 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // April 12th, 2012
Life is happening right here, right now.
Gabriel heads to England to study abroad, and he ends up unexpectedly kissing his roommate Marcus. This moment defines him, and it marks the first time Gabriel realizes he is gay and in love. The problem comes, though, when he realizes his persona and life may never be the same again. His parents and friends now see something different in him, but they may need his help more than he does theirs. Jitters is a gay teen drama that comes out of Iceland, and it shows a very real relationship where a boy has to grapple with his own inner turmoil while juggling everyone else's problems too. To complicate things further several young girls enter the mix, one who even has designs on Gabriel and another who has a severe alcohol problem. The world changes for everybody, and dramatic events ensure that nobody is going to feel the same.
Jitters works as a teen angst film, although it doesn't offer too much that is unique outside of the "gay Icelandic teen" premise. The actors all do fine jobs even if the script sometimes forces them through convoluted situations. There may be too much plot and too many characters for a 90-minute movie here, but it is handled quietly and fine by the cast who are all achingly real. We get to see many of Gabriel's friends and quite a bit of his control-freak mother. There are endless house parties, chances to get drunk and make out, and plenty of time to wallow in the drama.
TLA Releasing offers the film on DVD with a nice widescreen anamorphic transfer and a stereo track for the dialogue. Colors look natural and there is good attention to detail in the picture. Subtitles mostly fall below the picture which is a nice touch. The sole extra is a "behind the scenes" featurette which shows us on the set footage set to music from the film. It's a lot of shots of actors getting made up or goofing off together while camera operators and directors debate their next move.
Jitters is unique in that it is an Icelandic gay teen story that looks hard at the people around the lead character rather than focusing on the homosexual aspects, which almost function as a subplot. It becomes more a tale about teens with inner turmoil that surpasses and eclipses the realization that Gabriel is gay. It suggests that the world may be as hard, if not worse, for his straight counterparts. Being gay almost becomes just part of the tapestry of everything else in an Icelandic teenage world.
A brave little film that shows just how messed up any teen can be, no matter
who they are.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: TLA Releasing
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Icelandic)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated