Patrik, Age 1.5 follows the story of a gay couple, Sven (Torkel Petersson) and Göran Skoogh (Gustaf Skarsgård), who move into a suburban neighbourhood and decide to adopt a child. Initially, their attempts to adopt are met with failure, as almost all countries refuse to accept gay parents as adopters. However, all of a sudden a Swedish orphan is up for adoption, and the couple jump at the chance. Surprisingly, they find out that a typographical error has changed the age of Patrik, the orphan, from 15 to 1.5.
Although they go back to the agency to try to deal with this error, they find themselves stuck with the boy, who has a criminal background, for the following week. The boy is initially afraid of both men, as he believes in the stereotype that all gay men are paedophiles, and treats them poorly as a result.
When the agency opens again, they find out that Patrik’s only options are to stay with them, or to return to foster care. Sven leaves the house in anger over Göran’s unwillingness to kick Patrik out, and over the next few days, Göran and Patrik actually manage to bond over gardening. Sven returns, having calmed down a bit, and things improve. Patrik goes with another father that agency finds, but returns only a few days later, and the three live together as a happy family.
“Sweet, generous and tonally sure, Patrik, Age 1.5 has a nostalgic feel, and not just because of a soundtrack skewed toward last-millennium tunes and a hyperreal suburban setting lifted straight from “Pleasantville.”
— Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times
“This most observant and involving film has three strengths: It shows that a strongly family-oriented, middle-class suburbia is initially hardly idyllic for gays; the arrival of Patrik reveals fissures in Sven and Goran’s relationship; and that Lemhagen, who plays against predictability at every turn, maintains suspense right up to the final minutes as to how everything may turn out for the three.”
— Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
“One is never bored, thanks to the innate charms of Gustaf Skarsgård and young Ljungman.”
— Chuck Wilson, Village Voice
Did You Know?
Patrik, Age 1.5 is technically based on a stage production; however, director Ella Lemhagen didn’t like the script of the play all that much, and decided to just use the film’s pitch and to build up a new story from scratch. While doing so, she interviewed the first Swedish gay couple given permission to adopt, in 2003, and who by 2010 were still waiting to actually adopt. Review our Gay Themed Films Here