The raging hormones of adolescent youth surface once again in this sexually frank French mini-feature, bursting as-it-is with passionate boy-on-boy lip-service and a lot more besides.
For with high school teen Arnaud casting longing looks in the direction of his best friend Guillaume, as Guil makes out with his girl Vanessa, the object of Arnaud's teenage crush is all but clear. Knowing full well that his heart is but a case of unrequited love, he takes comfort in surreptitiously caressing Guillaume during a sleepover, Summer Blues fashion, all the while masking his true feelings by way of a chaste relationship with local girl Aude. Only with a sexually active Guillaume seeking shelter with Arnaud following his mother's mental breakdown, could his dream fantasy turn into gay reality after all?
Laced with a series of homoerotic moments, this seductive tale of sexual awakening from writer and director Armand Lameloise wonderfully captures the innocence of youth, giving way to teenage angst, let alone the pleasures of adulthood. Only in between all of the smoking and drinking, the clubs and the drugs, if not the music and the sex, lies the heartwarming story of a gay teen coming to terms with his sexuality, by way of the object of his adoration.
True the in love with your best friend scenario is hardly new and here cue such features as Forgive & Forget, Krámpack and Summer Storm to name but three. But such does not detract from the merits of this well played and frankly realistic coming-of-age piece, one aided by the natural charm of its largely teenage cast, even if the ending arrives as no surprise courtesy of a poignant "I love you, as if..." line. But then and with AqME providing the nu metal styled soundtrack, this was never going to be ... well that would be saying. What it is however, is an engaging tale of gay first love, one that thanks to its erotic delivery can be found in its original unabridged form and that of a more U-certificate based outing, being notably devoid of its opening hetero love-making sequence, alongside the later non-explicit, if direct masturbation scene, aka "when the bathroom door closes." Thankfully one of the longest gay snogging sessions seen for a while, remains intact throughout. Need more be said? Only that and like the French short Basket et Maths, check out the freeview, this remains yet another touching take on falling in love, adolescent style.
starring: Arthur Moncla / Arnaud, Rémi Bresson / Guillaume, Élodie Bollée / Vanessa,
Anna Mihalcéa / Aude, Luc Battiston / Lucas, Jonathan Reyes / Jérémie, Stanislas
Crevillén / The Boy by the Lake and with Fabienne Babe / Arnaud's Mother,
Manuel Blanc as Yannick and Éva Mazauric as Guillaume's Mother.
›› many thanks to James for this reader review request; keep them coming ‹‹