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||IMDB Rating: 5.8/10 from votes
||Release: April 2005 (Italy) /
||Genre: Drama, Romance
||Director: Bernard Alapetite,
||Stars: Adeline Ishiomin, Amandine Maugy, Benoît Delière, Christian Guidicelli, Gaëtan Borg, Jean-Christophe Bouvet, Johnny Amaro, Michel Derville, Patrick Esilva, Thibault Boucaux
||Synopsis: Sebastien is a small town boy who moves to Paris and begins to explore the gay night life there. When a friend from back home calls to announce he's coming to Paris, Sebastien confronts some unrequited feelings.
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The directors and star of Comme un frere were in town for a screening
at the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival yesterday. The screening I
attended looked to be a sell-out, but I can only think that the
audience was primarily attracted by the cunning use of a "boys on the
beach" promotional photograph rather than any Fesitival buzz
surrounding the film itself.
One of the directors spoke rather charmingly (in French) about how he
was inspired by British cinema, particularly by the gritty realism of
Mike Leigh and Stephen Frears. He found their films, however, too
"noir" and hoped to make something more optimistic in Comme un frere.
Well, all I can say is that the French idea of optimism is like the
Luftwaffe's idea of town planning, so hopes were not particularly high.
Comme un frere (Like a Brother) is the tale of Zack (Benoit Deliere), a
pretty blond lad who has come to Paris to explore his sexuality. He
clubs, he hooks up on chat lines, he has a beauty routine that would
put Elizabeth Arden to shame. But, as seems to be obligatory in all
French cinema, he is pining for something.
That something is Romain (the extraordinarily beautiful Thibault
Boucaux), his best friend, left behind in the Styx when Zack moved to
the big city. Scenes of Zack and Romain on the beach, hanging about in
cafés and even (platonically) sharing a bed have a tendresse that is
deeply touching - but their scenes are filmed in a washed out grey that
removes any sense of what made this time special for young Zack.
By contrast, the Paris scenes have a colourful vibrancy that makes one
wonder why on earth Zack would be pining for his dreary seaside town,
with or without the lovely Romain.
If you're thinking "It seems to me I've heard that song before" then
you've nailed the problem with Comme un frere. Young men with
unrequited crushes on their best friends have been a staple of gay
cinema since the year dot, and Comme un frere has nothing new or fresh
to add. The performances are generally good, with some real star
potential from Boucaux, and the sex scenes are filmed with urgency and
passion, but the inconclusive ending (which really does seem as if the
producers just ran out of money and had to stop filming) and the
absence of anything to make this stand out from the crowd make it a
fairly lacklustre affair.
Tags for Like a Brother Full Movie
, Amandine Maugy
, Benoît Delière
, Christian Guidicelli
, Gaëtan Borg
, Jean-Christophe Bouvet
, Johnny Amaro
, Michel Derville
, Patrick Esilva
, Thibault Boucaux
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