21 Ways to Ruin a Marriage, the alternative Bridget Jones

“Divorce is a natural and probable consequence of falling in love,” according to Sanna, the 29-year-old heroine of 21 Ways to Ruin a Marriage, the third feature-length film by Finnish director Johanna Vuoksenmaa. It forms part of Walk This Way’s Scandinavian Collection and is available on video on demand from 23 November.

Sanna (Armi Toivanen) has an aversion to any sort of romantic commitment. She spends her life as a resolute singleton, interspersed with a few drunken sexual adventures and one-night stands as well as her sociology thesis, entitled “X Ways to Ruin a Marriage”. The thesis is illustrated by video interviews with newly-weds and older married couples, and its chapters include “Making decisions for your partner”, “Turning a blind eye”, “Controlling him” and “Treating him like a child”. Her best friend, Aino (Essi Hellén), on the other hand, is searching for the love of her life, and seeks some kind of sign from fate by randomly switching between radio stations. However, when Sanna meets Aleksi (Riku Nieminen), Aino’s colleague, and Aino meets Sanna’s assistant, it looks like there may be some surprises in store for the two friends…

21 Ways to Ruin a Marriage was a big hit from the moment it was released: it was selected at numerous festivals (Tokyo, Hamburg, Hong Kong and Shanghai), won the Public’s Favourite at the Jussis (Finnish cinema’s national awards) in 2014 and was a phenomenal success in its homeland, with more than 400,000 tickets sold, making it the country’s biggest box-office hit of 2013.

This touching and off-the-wall alternative to the Bridget Jones style of romantic comedy can now be enjoyed by the public, courtesy of Walk This Way, alone, with friends or indeed even with a partner, in Spain, Denmark, Italy, France, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Turkey and Austria.

09 December 2015, by Cineuropa