›› Presque Rien - Almost Nothing - aka: Come Undone ‹‹

a film by Sébastien Lifshitz.

2000 | 100 mins | France.

a roller coaster ride of teenage emotions, angst and sex.

Dave says:

Packed with more scenes of homoerotic imagery than the BBFC could almost take at the time, this rampant tale of sexual discovery from co-writer and director Sébastien Lifshitz is as gloriously gay to the core, as it's something of a bittersweet affair.

Not that this work has the adult content of many an explicit gay feature of today, given this is, at heart, the story of star-crossed lovers and of a holiday romance that was too good to be true. And it all began for Mathieu (Jérémie Elkaïm); a shy and introverted youth when he chanced upon the good looks and sexually confident body of Cédric (Stéphane Rideau); namely a young man who made him feel that something special stir down below. No surprise to learn that it isn't long before carefree days give way to lustful nights, with Mathieu and Cédric becoming an item for all to see.

Yet and just as seaside holidays come and go, so too do summer romances and this is no exception. Only with a sick mother, an absent father and an all too annoying little sister, tentative plans for Mathieu to stay with Cédric in Nantes all but seem destined to be left blowing in the wind, leaving Mathieu in a state of severe depression. But then, how easy is it to mend a broken heart?

In short, this is but a roller coaster ride of teenage emotions, angst and sex, charting the rise and fall of a summer romance. Yet in doing so, it fails to define the specifics of what caused love to turn cold. Then again, perhaps this is of no surprise, given this is a feature hampered by a script that takes delight in constantly jumping between past and present time frames, bringing you so close to a bond with the protagonists, only to throw you to another time period before you can connect with them.

That said, both Elkaïm and Rideau of Le Clan and Our Paradise fame excel as the loving / not so loving pair of the piece, giving all to their parts and in more ways than one. Yet and as sensuous a sight as the boys are and here cue passionate scenes of lovemaking, full frontal nudity and overt masturbation, this nevertheless remains a proudly gay, if somewhat fragmented piece, one that cuts to the emotional core of their relationship by way of a series of time shifts that can only but serve to remind you that such scenes of romantic joy, are a distant memory of times past. All of which leaves a haunting quality forever ingrained in the very celluloid of the film itself. But oh, it's so well-played.

›› available as part of the PECCADILLO PICTURES catalogue: 28th September, 2009 / UK.
›› revised: Monday, 27th December, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt | Nudity - the full monty | Overall - file under ... 3+ stars

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