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Garçon Stupide (Unrated)

Release Date: September 16th, 2005 (NYC-Angelika Film Center) by Picture This! Entertainment.
The Cast: Pierre Chatagny, Natacha Koutchoumov, Rui Pedro Alves, Lionel Baier
Directed by Lionel Baier.
In French with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: Loic (Chatagny), sex-crazed, gay young man searches for true love while he lives with his more mature friend Marie (Koutchoumov).

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Although not heavy on plot development, this film still manages to be entertaining thanks to a very convincing performance by Pierre Chatagny as Loic. Loic is a very interesting character because he leads the life of a sex-crazed young man, but when he is with his friend Marie, he manages to be funny, shocking, and even serious at times. Marie grounds him in reality--or, at least, she tries. It is easy to notice that deep down he wants to escape from his aimless life, but he is constantly sucked into it with his wild imagination and raging hormones. He is the opposite of the main character in The 40 Year Old Virgin, yet he is just as likeable. There are plenty of graphic sex scenes, but they are cleverly presented in split screens with fast pacing. Also, whenever Loic meets his partners, the camera is positioned so that they are off camera, so you just hear their voices. Even one of his more serious partners who urges him to become a photographer is not in front of the camera until the very end. At one point, Loic thinks he is in love with a handsome soccer player. In an awkward, dream-like scene, he confronts him while the soccer player is with his son. Despite that the soccer player is married to a woman, he and Loic share moments of suggested sexual tension--but it does not amount to anything physical. There is one surprising plot twist that is slightly contrived, but it is very essential to Loic's character development.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Loic's journey of gradual self-discovery and maturity is equally moving and heartbreaking. Despite having many male partners, he is essentially a very lonely and confused young man. His role model is his very friend Marie, who is nice enough to let him live with her. She copes with his overtly sexual behavior and poor manners up to a certain point--everyone has their limitations. She is the catalyst who causes Loic to take responsibility of his life and to confront himself in the mirror. His first sign of maturity is when he admits that he is, in fact, a stupid boy.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: A contrived plot twist.


THE BOTTOM LINE: A very moving, heartbreaking, and devastating coming-of-age film with a brave, stand-out performance by Chatagny.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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