Starring: Ruth Vega Fernandez, Liv Mjönes, Krister Henriksson
Director: Alexandra-Therese Keining
Running Time: 103 mins
With Every Heartbeat (Kyss mig) is a Swedish film about two women who meet at their parents’ engagement party, and fall in love, despite one of them too being engaged to be married to a man.
A captivating romantic drama full of heart, and never straying into the often-unavoidable realms of melodrama, With Every Heartbeat is a thoroughly likable, albeit not emotionally enthralling watch from start to finish. Its leading ladies make for a wonderful pair, and the film’s generally understated atmosphere works well with a few moments of high drama, all of which is told with real heart.
The best thing that I can say about With Every Heartbeat is the way in which it avoids falling into the traps of both ends of the romantic drama spectrum. On the one hand, the film could stray into pretentious, depressing territory similar to Blue Is The Warmest Colour, and on the other, into the realm of cheese and schmaltz, much like Love, Actually.
While there are moments where the movie does briefly stray into both of those zones, With Every Heartbeat keeps its feet firmly on the ground throughout, and as such makes for a far more captivating and relatable watch, as we watch two women not only experience a passionate affair, but begin to examine what they really see as love, and the boundaries which can be broken to feel it fully.
It’s an interesting theme that puts the lesbian love story up against the ‘conventional’ wisdom of many other romantic dramas, as the central relationship between Ruth Vega Fernandez and Liv Mjönes comes into conflict with heterosexual romances between Fernandez and Joakim Nätterqvist and that of the two women’s parents, played by Krister Henriksson and Lena Endre.
There’s a lot going on in this film, and that also plays a big role in preventing it from becoming an overly-indulgent love story, as it spreads the character depth and drama around beyond the central romance. Granted, the film isn’t as exhilarating or heart-wrenching as the likes of Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, but it’s full of captivating drama, and two wonderful lead performances. So, that’s why I’m giving With Every Heartbeat a 7.4 overall.