• Golden Globe Awards

Games People Play (Finland)

Games People Play is a comedy about the tragedy of being forever young.
An old group of friends gathers to celebrate Mitzi’s surprise birthday party over a nostalgic weekend at an idyllic seaside villa – just like they used to do as teenagers. Familiar surroundings and the old rituals make the group forget their adulthood just as revelations make them reassess their past as well as their present. 
Director-writer Jenni Toivoniemi mentions how a few years ago many of her childhood friends got divorced. “Suddenly, I was at parties where people behaved like they were teenagers again. Surprisingly, many hooked up with the same people they were together with or wanted to be together, as teenagers. The denial of aging and longing for (a) carefree youth that never existed in (the) first place intrigues me.”
Games People Play is Toivoniemi’s first feature film. She has directed many short films and won several prestigious awards. Emmi Parviainen plays the role of the birthday girl Mitzi. The actor says she recognizes the trend. “I’m now 35 but I feel more like 20, so age is a state of mind or heart.”
Laura Birn, who plays Mitzi’s best friend Veronika, adds: “I was talking to a friend a couple of years ago who was born in the ‘60s and she said that our generation wanted to grow up as soon as possible and be adults but your generation doesn’t want to grow up. You want to stay young.”
The Games People Play actors have known each other for several years. Parviainen underlines how important it was to get to the very core of the friendship. “We have seen the darkness and happy times from each other. We had the super trust from the beginning.” In the film, the surprise birthday party goes all wrong. Laura Birn tells how Emmi Parviainen organized her surprise birthday party. “It was my dream come true. It was the best birthday I’ve ever had.”