A closeted Liberal Chairman (Björn Kjellman) falls for an out Social Democrat (a lovable Eric Ericson). Four More Years is an enjoyably fluffy romcom. The leading men have chemistry and charm. It’s refreshing to see a middle-aged actor in a gay romance. On the minus side the story lacks conflict. The Chairman is terrified of being outed. Yet no one cares when he dates openly. I’m not sure if this is satire or an honest reflection of Sweden’s politics circa 2010. Either way it feels like a waste of a good premise.
Learn more in this spoiler filled recap.
Act One: Right meets Left
Scene One: Office Elevator
MARTIN (Social Democrat): Sorry you lost the election for Prime Minister.
DAVID (Liberal Chairman): Thanks. Congrats to your guy.
MARTIN: Want to hear some jokes about Swedish politics?
(They banter. Then patiently wait for the re-capper to look up all the Swedish politicians they name.)
Scene Two: Martin’s Home
MARTIN: Let’s talk about infrastructure.
DAVID: It’s getting late. I should get home.
(They get drunk. Then make out. Cut to the next morning.)
DAVID: Why are we in our underwear?
MARTIN: Connect the dots.
DAVID: I’ve never done this before. How will I tell my wife?
MARTIN: We could post a sex tape on YouTube. Or we could keep it a secret.
Act Two: Arbitrary Break Up
Scene Three: Martin’s Home
EX-BOYFRIEND: Take me back.
MARTIN: No. Leave before my date arrives. (But David’s already overheard.)
DAVID: You’ve slept with men before? What am I doing? I should end this before it ruins my career.
MARTIN: Seriously? That’s this films idea of conflict?
Scene Four: David’s Home
DAVID: I’ve missed you Wife. Let’s have sex.
WIFE: Why? You’re a homosexual.
DAVID: I’m what? Why did no one tell me?
WIFE: We thought you knew. That’s why I’ve got a side piece.
(Cut to Wife having sex with David’s campaign assistant.)
DAVID: Why are we watching straight sex when the gay sex happened off screen?
Act Three: Compromise
Scene Five: Sad montage
MARTIN: My dad died. I’m sad.
DAVID: My wife left. I’m sad. (David takes a sad shower.)
MARTIN: You’ll go full frontal in a montage but won’t do a sex scene?
DAVID: We should get back together. Then break up again.
MARTIN: This film’s run out of plot.
GOVERNMENT AIDE: Martin, the Prime Minister wants to see you.
Scene Six: Train Station
MARTIN: The Prime Minister offered me the job of State Secretary.
DAVID: Then you can’t date a Liberal. Besides, I’m going to run for office again.
EX-WIFE: Don’t be stupid David. You’re polling worse then [insert politician the ignorant recapper hasn’t heard of.]
DAVID: I’m sure that’s hilarious.
MARTIN: You didn’t let me finish. (Ha.) I said no.
DAVID: You gave up your dream job for a middle-aged divorcee?
MARTIN: What can I say? I’m into daddies.
Relax. It’s Only Politics
The protagonist of 2021’s Young Royals is a queer Swedish prince. His love life is hindered by his jealous cousin. Four More Years has no such antagonist. The political insiders don’t care. David’s conflict is internal. How did he reach middle age in a progressive country without realizing he was a homosexual? Denial is a powerful drug. He briefly suggests he may be bisexual. Martin responds with bi-phobic jokes. This is the one sour note in an otherwise sweet film.
What does it mean for Martin to decline a promotion? What is his political ideology? Why choose a high stakes setting for your film and not use it? Perhaps the filmmakers are telling us to not take politics so seriously. Maybe that was possible in 2010. Sadly, Sweden’s far right extremists have gained power in recent years.
I’d recommend Four More Years to fans of gay romcoms. I joke about the lack of sex. But it’s nice to see the protagonists bring more to the relationship than their looks.
You can find my reviews on The Avocado, Letterboxd and Serializd. My podcast, Rainbow Colored Glasses, can be found here.