“Narcisists are the ones who succeed.”


If last year’s Norwegian darling, The Worst Person in the World, was about a woman’s realisation that she has the capacity to be better, Sick of Myself is about the audience realising that there is no depth to which the narcissistic Signe will not sink. She is desperate to be noticed, craving even negative attention, which begins a downward spiral once she discovers that illness will attract sympathy. Naturally she uses this to test her friends’ commitment and we frequently see her fantasies about the future, including a funeral with bouncer turning away those who failed to visit her in hospital. Rather than pair Signe with a downtrodden victim, writer-director Kristoffer Borgli pairs her with a boyfriend who is nearly as self-involved, a smart decision that heightens the cynical worldview that permeates Sick of Myself. A common complaint with dark comedies is that all the characters are unlikeable, but Sick of Myself treats its own characters with an almost visceral revulsion, and the film is unrelentingly committed to seeing their actions through until it becomes disturbing. That will certainly not be to all tastes, but its edge never dulls even as its focus pulls back to cover performative activism (with a modelling agency based around disability) and natural medicine support groups (where one member deplores the “privilege” of Signe’s visible affliction). It is more often bitterly amusing than laugh-out-loud funny but, if you are sickened by the way in which modern society seems to reward sociopathy, Sick of Myself may be just what the doctor ordered.