Director: Morten Tyldum
The only less than charming feature this addicting Norwegian import contains would be its unoriginal name. The film, which played at film festivals around the globe (winning several audience awards), concerns three roommates who find their home movies of daily life and stunts catching the eye of a big Norwegian television show. Soon, they become new reality television stars and unlike reality television in this country wherein average folks seem thrilled to do something—anything (even eating bugs)-- to make it to prime time, Tyldum’s film seems more honest and candid by showing the plusses and minuses of instant celebrity in a very earnest portrayal that never once paints the blame solely on the station or on Kristoffer, the enterprising young man whose tapes are used. Far more engaging than reality television themed American film EdTV, Buddy benefits from some endearing characters, most notably the heartbreaking story of Kristoffer’s roommate Stig Inge, a man paralyzed by fear of leaving his tiny community and coming to grips with the idea that he has become a public figure, which raises ethical questions about disability, voyeurism and the morality of humor in these circumstances and it's all handled expertly by both the director and writer Lars Gudmestad, both of whom have a background in television. Above all, Tyldum considers his film not to be simply a comment on reality television but as he told the filmmovement site (which carries the film), Buddy is “a romantic comedy about daring to be honest… even if your dream comes true, it doesn’t necessarily make you happy,” and the film will strike a chord as we watch twenty-somethings learn they must grow up and take responsibility for their new lives as adults.