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This destined for cult status flick is essentially a French American Pie or Superbad. It has pubescent boys obsessed with sex, local girls who said lads have no chance with (or do they?) and uncomfortable situations aplenty. It doesn't do anything overly original, and the story arc is predictable, but that doesn't matter. It is bloody hilarious. Sure, it has patches of unfunny areas, but when it hits the mark you'll be cackling until tears roll down your cheeks.
The awkward moments like the boys getting caught perving on a neighbour - draw out a chuckle here and there, though the real hearty laughs are primarily induced from the smaller, subtler parts of the film benefitting from the nuanced comic performances delivered by its young, pimply cast. Vincent Lacoste makes Herve a naturalistic and relatable adolescent whilst Anthony Sonigo is more over-the-top as his ultra-libidinous mate Camel. There is also a side-splitting turn from Noemie Lvovsky as Herve's unabashed mother who has an unseemly, yet surprisingly never disturbing, interest in her son's sex life. The bit where she witnesses Herve snogging for the first time is one of many highlights her reaction is completely and utterly priceless.
Writers Riad Sattouf (who also directed) and Marc Syrigas deserve plenty of credit too; their script has some undoubtedly memorable dialogue and interactions. A canteen scene where an inexplicably-cool blind boy chats up a naive girl offers one of the finest pick-up lines put to celluloid. Not to mention the deadpan reactions from Herve's group when they hear the school bully has died. It are these moments where the film shines and makes you forget about its numerous faults - the cultural differences to Australia make for some oddities elsewhere in the movie.
A guilty 90 minutes indeed.
3.5 out of 5 (1 - Rubbish, 2 - Ordinary, 3 - Good, 4 - Excellent, 5 - Classic)
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