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Grâce de Capitani
13 years old Vic is new in her high school; soon she makes friends with Penelope. Together they check out the guys in quest for a great love. But Vic's parents are their handicap, since they won't allow her to attend the "boum", a big party. But with some help of grandma Poupette it works out anyways and Vic falls in love with Matthieu. At the same time her parent's marriage is on the edge when her father's ex-girlfriend demands a last night together.Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
I grew up in the 1980ies and didn't see the movie until now. I have to admit that, despite the hype at the time, it's a decent coming-of-age movie which ended up setting the script for all the teenage romcoms to come. To my surprise, the travails of young Vic are buffeted by the adventures of her patchworkish family, with her philandering father, her economically struggling mother and her funky grandmother. Unusually it depicts the (naturally rather tame) love adventures of 11 to 14-years-olds, in other words the deal is the first kiss on the mouth here, whereas modern movies either cater to kids or senior to college level young adults, where much more risqué humour is viable.
What makes the movie worth watching today is the enormous cultural gap between then and now. It all seems so dull, grey and dusty, just like I remembered the era.
Some things I found especially noteworthy:
* the characters eat noodles all the time; even steak with noodles
* the movie makers had a thing going for Germany; we have sexy German teacher monsieur Lehman, in part two Vic goes to summer school near Salzburg and heart throb Pierre sets off for exotic Stuttgart
* Denise Grey (grannie Poupette) was 84 years old when the movie was released; she had her first acting appearance in 1913 and died at the age of 99
* the family car, a Talbot-Matra Rancho in the luxurious Grand Raid edition (with headlights which look like cop cruiser searchlights); basically a R4-class ride styled to look as if it had just won the Camel Trophy
* the eponymous "boum" (party) is incredibly lame by modern standards, essentially kids standing around a record player, listening to unbelievably cheesy music and sucking on a Coke
* the product placement: while the teens eat generic "super chips" all the time (obviously, a lucrative contract didn't surface here), there are constant placements for Lacoste and Talbot-Matra
* the fashions look unbelievably tame and stuffy, with the girls wearing almost no makeup
* the movie makers were very clever in marketing the music, they managed to scout unknown British musicians and got them to write a suitable song, played it constantly throughout each movie and thus created fairly solid hits in the process ("Dreams Are My Reality" by Richard Sanderson in the first part, and, to a lesser degree, and using virtually identical harmonies, "Your Eyes" by Cook Da Books (what??) in the second episode)
* the school Vic goes to, the lycée Henri IV, is a prestigious Parisian high school
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