Les beaux gosses [The French Kissers] (2009)

Les beaux gosses is the first movie by director/writer Riad Sattouf, starring Vincent Lacoste, Anthony Sonigo and Alice Trémolière (and in very small role: Valeria Golino).

Hervé (Vincent Lacoste) spends most of his time with his best friend Camel (Anthony Sonigo) dreaming about the girls in school, especially Aurore (Alice Trémolière). One day, Aurore actually talks to him and a friendship starts to develop between them. Over the course of a year, we see their development.

Les beaux gosses is funny and sweet and I had a good time watching it. It’s not the world’s best movie, but it is good entertainment. The cast was great, most of them newcomers with some better known actors in supporting roles. What I found sadly lacking though was the female perspective.

Riad Sattouf and co-author Marc Syrigas are clearly on the side of the teenagers in that film. There’s no question here that adults might actually not be that bad – they suck. They’re annoying. No doubt about it. This approach lends itself to a very sensitive and respectful portrayal of the main characters.

This is not a movie about the ridiculousness of teenagers (as other movies are), but actually about the growing pains one experiences in that time. Which might be connected to the fact that the actors were actually about the same age as their characters (something that’s hardly never the case in the Hollywood version of these films).

Beneath all the humour and the jokes (and there are a lot of those), there’s a refreshing honesty about this movie: masturbation scenes are shown as unflinchingly as scenes of boring school lessons.

The only thing that really bothered me, as I said before, was the complete lack of a female perspective. Even when the movie touches on feminist issues, the camera stays with the guys (like when rumours spread that Aurore will kiss guys for money and she’s later basically assaulted, though not physically, by some guys because of that. She runs away crying but we get to see the faces of the boys who don’t get what’s going on). That said, at least the women were actual characters.

Despite my issues with that, it’s still a movie worth seeing though I wouldn’t spend oodles of money on it.

2 thoughts on “Les beaux gosses [The French Kissers] (2009)

  1. Was thinking of checking this movie out. It’s been branded as a “cult movie” here in Sydney. The main character reminds me of Cera (Superbad) for some reason.

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