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Des épaules solides (2003)

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Credited cast:
Louise Szpindel ...
Dora Jemaa ...
Nina Meurisse ...
Jean-François Stévenin ...
La mère de Sabine
Max Rüdlinger ...
Le père de Sabine
Laurence Vielle ...
Le maître d'internat
M. Piazenta ...
Entraîneur fédération
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sollene Allaine ...
Classe sport et études
Alexandra Balz ...
Classe sport et études
André Cimala ...
Assistent sportif
Arnaud de Coster ...
Classe sport et études
Fabien Favre ...
Classe sport et études
Gaëlle Fumeaux ...
Classe sport et études


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Release Date:

4 April 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Broad Shoulders  »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly worthwhile
6 February 2016 | by See all my reviews

This is a fairly well-made French TV movie about a teenage girl (Louise Szpindel) who is VERY into competitive running to the extent that she complains that her breasts are too large and she wants to self-induce amenorrhea to help her running. She butts heads with her sympathetic male coach and alienates her friends in an effort to secretly videotape her own workouts against her coach's express orders. Even when she seemingly falls in love with a male teammate and loses her virginity, it turns out to be another hare-brained scheme to pursue her single-minded obsession.

People claim that participating in sports raises teenage girls' self-esteem and makes them a lot less likely to engage in promiscuous sex or use drugs. In REAL-LIFE I applaud this, of course, but it's probably more interesting to watch MOVIES about girls who are engaging in promiscuous sex and using drugs. The protagonist here though pretty much uses competitive sports LIKE a drug and it becomes a rather destructive force for her and everyone around her. Part of it may be a mysterious and very troubled relationship she has with another older man, who may be a former coach or may be her father (unlike some French movies I watch, this one had English subs, but this part is left very intentionally ambiguous). The ending at first seems quite confounding, but actually it is quite apropos if you think about it.

It's always interesting to compare French TV movies to their American equivalents you might see on Lifetime or something. This movie is far deeper and more sophisticated than most of the comparatively ridiculous (if often fun) American TV fare. Louise Szpindel is an attractive, but also a very believable, normal-looking girl as opposed to the stunning beauties that would appear in an American movie like this. Americans would probably blanch at the casual nude scenes involving the slightly underage actress, but of course casting the most ridiculously hot twenty-year-olds you can find as "teenagers" probably fuels people's "lolita complexes" at least as much as few tasteful nude scenes. Regardless of whether her frequent nudity is really "essential to the plot" though, Spzindel is excellent in this movie. She never really went on to do anything after this strangely enough, but her co-star Nina Muerisse (who shares a very similar look) has been pretty ubiquitous on French TV and occasionally French cinema.

I have no idea why most people would see this if you don't sit around watching TV Monde America like I do, but it is surprisingly worthwhile. And this is coming from a guy who has absolutely no interest whatsoever in competitive sports.

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