It's the end of summer vacation for Amin. The young photographer spends cozy evenings with Charlotte, the ex-girlfriend of his Casanova cousin. She talks to him about literature, he ... See full summary »
Amin, an aspiring screenwriter and photographer, returns to his hometown, a fishing village in the south of France, after living a year in Paris. He spends his time hopping from beach to beach and from bar to bar, finding his childhood friends and chasing new encounters. The summer lights of the Mediterranean coast guide his quest for love, as he hopes to live a passionate romance like in the movies. Surrounded by his loving family, who sometimes helps and often hinders, Amin searches to find his own way. Inspiration comes in the form of many female characters who enchant him, but when it comes to love only the mektoub ("destiny" in Arabic) can decide. This coming-of-age saga set in 1994 casts a nostalgic glow on losing the innocence of youth.
This is a film that's hard to review; it is technically well done, but once in a while you wonder why you are watching what you're watching.
The film offers many ingredients of a good coming-of-age story: realistic characters, realistic character developments, realistic scenarios, realistic dialogues. Its perspective is not moralistic; It neither blames nor encourages any of its characters' different approaches to sex and life.
The problem, however, is that if you cut one hour of the movie out, it wouldn't lose any significance. Indeed, a lot of the film is plain gazing at the plump bodies of women, but the thing is that the gazed body parts do not add anything to the film. One could argue that the long sex scene in La Vie d'Adele gave the viewer an opportunity to get acquainted with the characters since the way a person has sex also tells a lot about them. The same argument sadly cannot be given in this film. Hence, you have a three hour long movie instead of two. Nonetheless, the longevity of the film does not mean that the film is stretched out. Three hours pass by in a relatively quick fashion (especially if you like women).
I just hope women and the animals in the movie did not have to endure shootings that they didn't particularly enjoy, considering Léa Seydoux's and Adele Exarchopoulos's harsh comments on the director at the time.
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