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French filmmaker Jacques Doillon is renowned to know how to direct
children and teenagers. Apparently, his daughter Lola has the same
The plot of "Et toi t'es sur qui ?" (which can be translated into "Who is your love interest?") is a "comedy of morals" about two 15 year old girls who make a pact to lose their virginity before summer is over (in fact, they manage it before school's out). Elodie (Lucie Desclozeaux) and Julie, nicknamed "Batman" because of her Goth look (Christa Théret), are best friends at high school. Among their pals are Vincent (Gaël Tavares), in love with Elodie, and Nicolas (Nicolas Schweri). As their school breaks up for vocational training days, the girls examine their prospects from among their male friends. Mission is rapidly accomplished, but tangled consequences severely test the friendship among this small circle of young people.
There is nothing really new in this rites-of-passage movie, but it is told with gentle humor, with some hilarious lines ("What? You mean you f...d Batman?"). The young actors are all fresh and natural and Lola Doillon has a keen eye on contemporary teenagers (and respect for them as well). Hence, her first feature is very truthful, but its charm evaporates very quickly (and no, as you may have understood already, it is not one of those "teen movies" like "American Pie").
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is essentially a teen movie aimed at teenagers and as such is probably no better or worse than any of the others. Lola Doillon has strong connections to the French film industry not least via her father, Jacques and his relationship with Jane Birkin, mother of Charlotte Gainsbourg, lover of Yvan Attal etc. Between them these people have racked up an impressive joint CV so Lola has a mountain to climb and it's probably fair to say that she makes it to Base camp reasonably comfortably and has been able to coax half-decent performances out of her leading sextet. To say more than this would be unrealistic praise, to say less would be unfair.
French teen movies and American teen movies used to be very different.
The stereotypical American teen movie is about a group of male virgins
trying to "lose it" and having all kinds of (allegedly) hilarious
misadventures. They can be serious, but usually veer between completely
frivolous and saccharine or sappy. French teen movies usually involve
GIRLS and are more serious and perhaps sophisticated (if only because
they have a more adult audience). They usually take place on a beach
holiday, as opposed to a high school, where the girl or girls are more
surrounded by adults, and they often "lose" it to a much older man in a
much more sexually graphic fashion. In fact, they might be termed
"coming of age" movies more than teen movies.
For better or worse (probably worse), French teen movies are becoming more like American ones. This movie is set in a high school and it is about two teenagers making a pact to "lose it". But the two protagonists are GIRLS and the conflict comes not because they have any trouble "losing it", but the ramifications afterward. One girl is regarded as a "slut" for spontaneously having sex in the locker room of a butcher shop where they all work after school. And the other girl feels peer pressure from the actions of her friend. Naturally, the boys in the clique take advantage of the situation.
Obviously, these days people are leery about showing teen sex (even in France). Modern French teen movies seem to either contain graphic sex scenes, but with older actors who obviously aren't teens (like "Cold Showers" and "La Vie d'Adele"), OR they are like this movie and use more believable teen actors, but make the sex more circumspect--and have silly scenes like one where a girl loses her virginity then gets out of bed with all her underwear on. The days of Catherine Breillat films like "36 Fillette" and "To My Sister" where you had believable teenagers AND believable sexual encounters are probably over, but the French do have the edge on Hollywood still with regards to pretty much anything to do with sex.
What the French and American movies always have in common though is using an actors who are simply too attractive to be very believable even if they are somewhat age appropriate. Christa Theret was probably 16 or 17 here, but she is a lot more believable in the otherwise much dumber teen movie "LOL" because in that she plays the most beautiful, popular girl in school, where in this she is supposedly more of an outcast goth girl everyone calls "Batman" (and why would a teenage girl choose to be a goth, if she's the ONLY goth in her school?). Even dressed in goth clothes, Christa Theret could probably get a lot of adult males 10 to 20 years in the Bastille and would probably have nothing to do with boys her own age. But despite a few stupid aspects like this, this isn't a bad movie. It's still better than your usual modern-day Hollywood teen flick.
Internationally known as "Just About Love?" this film starts with two
girls making a simple plan: the both of them want to have sex before
the end of the Summer vacation that is just around the corner. They
want it because they don't want to become the oldest virgins in class.
They've got some simple rules too: it shouldn't be someone from school
because of all the rumors that would cause. And so the school day
starts - and as always, the most simple plans know the most difficult
The film is fresh, lifelike, quick and sometimes witty and never looses touch of the reality it is dealing with. Characters are so real one would be able to believe that this wasn't acted but actually filmed at an existing school with normal kids going through their school life without being told that they were filmed.
It is this freshness and realism that makes the film live. The characters are totally lovable and one can feel entirely bad for them when something bad happens to them. So, all in all, a lovely film about a difficult period in a human life.
8 out of 10 virgins defiled
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