Directed by Sofie Edvardsson, Top 3 is a romantic comedy that tells the gradual story of love, aspiration, wanderlust and pain. Anton, a list obsessive university student, falls in love with David, a travel hungry soul who waits until the right moment to first approach Anton. What follows is a joyous, hilarious and heartrending portrait of a mature relationship at eventual  odds.

When the two meet, it’s a curious and playful game of “Does he like me?” and vibe reading. They soon begin instant messaging to avoid study time and their affection blossoms into a fleeting relationship of discovery. Traveling abroad to places like India, Tokyo and Stockholm becomes a normal venture for the pair. It’s only when the love high slows down where Anton and David are confronted with visions of the future.  Anton, hopelessly in love with David, doesn’t feel he can support this honeymoon-esque lifestyle while caring for his own goals. David, while hesitant to go on, declares giving up the adventures to stay home with Anton, where his heart remains. But that sort of compromise comes at the cost of the other’s pursuit of happiness and Top 3 doesn’t sugarcoat even the painful trenches of this passionate relationship.

It’s the emotional push and pulls that make Top 3 such a resonating story. At the height of their relationship, Anton  and David are battled by the very things that first attracted them to each other. It’s a very singular journey following the two over time with title cards and celebratory vignettes. We see it through Anton’s point of view, with happy dances in his mind and made up scenarios. Keeping him mentally afloat is his best pal, Miriam, who is endlessly supportive to the two.  More than their fun skinny dipping leaps and keyboarding love songs, Anton and David are faced with the prolonged question of “Where do we go from here?” What’s at the end of their lush travels and cozy, messy rooms? As such, love can be just as unassured and out of order. When a companionship feels inconclusive the emotion of anguish gets the best of us. Anton and David were once looking at each other with perky, poking jubilation and now, with uncertainty and pain.

At the center of Top 3  is its bouncing and colorful array of animation. Shown through Anton and David’s love story is a palette of bright hues, purple hairs and popping icons and embellishments onscreen. It bursts with intuitive, gleeful production. At the height of every scene is a Top 3 list voiced over by Anton himself. “Top 3 thoughts I had when you looked at me for the first time…,” one reads. “3. Nothing, because I died when my heart exploded.”  Edvardsson’s film is just as fun to watch as it is moving. Top 3 is a bittersweet look at a relationship at odds, but supplies all the right beats to make us believe in the power of love through the thick of it all.

Rating: ★★★★½

Directed by: Sofie Edvardsson
Cast: Eric Ernerstedt, Jonas Jonsson, Caroline Johansson Kuhmunen