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  • Review: Les beaux gosses

Film

Review: Les beaux gosses

NOW SHOWING! A hit at Cannes 2009, this comedy about the cringe-worthy first sexual encounters of two teenage boys strikes a fragile balance between slapstick and sincerity.

In the company of an intruding, overbearing single mother (Lvovsky) and a shaggy Arab friend (Sonigo), pubescent Hervé (Lacoste) explores love in a film that is itself a bit like an adolescent: gross humor, two main characters who pick their noses, scratch their armpits and can’t seem to stop socking it, and exaggerated teenage drama stereotypes push you to the edge… And then, inexplicably, it’s suddenly endearing.

What ultimately separates Les beaux gosses from the plethora of similar Hollywood coming-of-age stories is the fragile balance it strikes between slapstick and sincerity, and Hervé’s very authentic, almost saint-like love for his mother and best friend, despite their constant faux pas. In fact, Le beaux gosses covers the same thematic ground – bully-magnet underdog high schooler conquers love with the help of quirky friends and family – as the cult-classic Napoleon Dynamite did six years ago, but does it much, much better.

LES BEAUX GOSSES (JUNGS BLEIBEN JUNGS) | Directed by Riad Sattouf (France 2010) with Vincent Lacoste, Noémie Lvovsky, Anthony Sonigo. Opens in Berlin cinemas on July 1.