Fucking with Nobody (2020)

Fucking with Nobody
Director: Hannaleena Hauru
Writer: Hannaleena Hauru, Lasse Poser
Cast: Hannaleena Hauru, Lasse Poser, Tanja Heinänen, Samuel Kujala, Anna Kuusamo, Jussi Lankoski, Sara Melleri, Hanna-Kaisa Tianen, Pietu Wikström
Seen on: 30.8.2022

Content note: sexual assault

Plot:
Hannaleena (Hannaleena Hauru) is a filmmaker who just lost a project to her male colleague Kristian (Jussi Lankoski). Deeply upset by that loss, and pissed off at the cheesy social media presence Kristian cultivates with his girlfriend Shirley (Anna Kuusamo), who just happens to be the star of the stolen project, Hannaleena bets her friends that she can take an equally romantic and sappy instagram picture with her friend Ekku (Samuel Kujala) in minutes. What starts as a joke becomes a big parody project when the image of Hannaleena and Ekku takes off on insta and Hannaleena gets comments congratulating her on the new relationship. Pretty soon all of Hannaleena’s friends, including camera man Lasse (Lasse Poser) and her sister Viima (Sara Melleri) are working on creating the perfect couple online. But the project goes into very unforeseen directions.

Fucking with Nobody is a delightful piece of autofiction/metafiction, a feminist movie that wonders about the difficulties of making a feminist film, and it is funny to boot. I absolutely loved it.

The film poster showing Hannaleena and Ekku wearing identical make-up, pulling each other's hair and grabbing at each other.

Fucking with Nobody tries to be a lot at once, and not all levels work equally. For me, the weakest part was the movie’s turn towards Lasse and his relationship with Hannaleena. I would have rather had the film stay with Hannaleena and Ekku, especially since it becomes an either/or thing. Hauru is aware of that and the film comments on the fact that audiences would expect more Ekku and less Lasse. That is clever but doesn’t change the fact that it’s true.

Generally, the film is so observant of fame, of the movie industry, and how gender plays a part in it all that it was easy to overlook this, though. The way Hannaleena colleagues’ perception of her changes from a slightly sad, single woman to a winner just by virtue of her having a romantic relationship (or so they think) and a big follower count is not just a comment on how we judge women, but also how those romantic fantasies affect us all.

Hannaleena and Ekku posing for an intimate picture, surrounded by other people with camera and  make-up.

Speaking of, I thought the film asks some interesting questions about the disconnect of knowing that the social media presence of influencers is completely staged, and yet somehow envy it. It mirrors how feminists know that heteronormativity is a sham, but at the same time, heteronormative ideals can still be appealing. The film combines those two things and sees where things go from there.

Some destinations of this set-up are very much expected (like the trouble that brews in Ekku’s relationship with Ara (Pietu Wikström) or the increasing romantic tension between Ekku and Hannaleena), others not so much – like Kristian’s epiphany or the sometimes rather crass turns of humor (your mileage will very much vary on those. I couldn’t laugh about all of it, but there was something to them). But even when the film loses a bit of focus or has moments where it doesn’t work, overall it kept me glued to the screen and got me considering things in a new light, while also making me laugh. What more could you wish for in a film?

The project group discussing how they should proceed.

Summarizing: loved it.

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