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A study of minor events in the adolescence of a boy growing up in small towns. Daniel lives with his grandmother and, after one year of high school, has to go to live with his mother in the south of France. She is a seamstress living in a tiny apartment with her lover Jose, a Spanish farm worker. Daniel would like to continue school, but his mother cannot afford it, so she sends him to work as an apprentice in a moped repair shop. Daniel wiles away his time in the shop, and learns about girls from the other boys in town. When he returns to visit his grandmother next year, it is obvious that he has grown up faster than his old friends. Written by
My Little Loves is a charming and at times troubling semi-autobiographical film detailing a year in the life of a stand-in for Eustache in the south of France. During the course of the film, we see him transformed from a bright but somewhat shy rural boy to a blossoming teenage hoodlum in a larger town. Ripped away from the comfort of his grandmother's home in the country, he finds himself sleeping on a cot in his mother's one room flat in town and working as a mechanic instead of attending high school. There is plenty of time for drifting, and he falls in with an older crowd of delinquents at a local cafe, much of whose activities revolve around groping girls and searching for that elusive score.
The molestation of women might be offputting to some. But it is supposed to be somewhat offputting. Becoming an adolescent is a painful process in the best of times, and Eustache's young self has more than his fair shares of troubles. He can't relate to women except in the most base sense of groping them. This essential failure is a metaphor for all of his youthful inabilities to cope. And despite what we might think of some of his behaviors, we certainly empathize with him. Especially any guy who is old enough to have gone through this experience will. The only weakness here is perhaps a bit of excessive audience manipulation to evoke sympathy for him, through bludgeoning us with his being yanked from school despite being a very bright student and the like. Still, I enjoyed this one quite a bit.
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