›› Just a Question of Love - Juste une Question d'Amour ‹‹

a film by Christian Faure.

2000 | 88 mins | France.

the raw reality of a parents love and sexual acceptance.

Dave says:

Directed by Christian Faure of A Love to Hide fame and watched by over six million when premiered on French public television in January 2000 and yes, this is a made-for-television production, this compelling variant on the theme of coming out is played with all of the dramatic intensity, that the French do so well.

It tells the story of Laurent (Cyrille Thouvenin); a gay agricultural student struggling to come to terms with the death of his homosexual cousin Marc; namely a man who was disowned by his parents when he let his true sexual self be known. Missing a relative who was more like a brother to him, Laurent has since gone into an emotional and educational meltdown, resulting with the head of his college seeking the services of Cédric (Stéphan Guérin-Tillié) and an internship made in heaven, given between the nurseries and the lab, Laurent finds himself falling for Cédric; desires that are mutual.

Yet whilst their sexuality is the same, their openness couldn't be further apart, with Cédric out to one and all, including his loving mother Emma (Éva Darlan), only for Laurent to enlist the help of his best friend Carole (Caroline Veyt) as 'girlfriend material' at family gatherings, given the patriarchal view is that homosexuality is something that's best to keep quiet about. And therein lies the problem; for Cédric has no intention of keeping his sexuality hidden from his potential in-laws, much to the annoyance of Laurent who cannot bring himself to tell his parents the homosexual truth. Faced with the ultimatum to come out to his family or risk losing the man he loves, somewhere, something has to give and here, it's just a question of when? Or should that be, just a question of love?

Passionate in all the right places, this bold portrait of gay love vividly depicts the problems faced by a young man, who for the sake of family unity seemingly has no option but to keep his sexuality hidden, only to fall in love with a man whose days of living in the closet are well and truly over. To that end, both Guérin-Tillié and Thouvenin excel in their opposing roles, in the process delivering a wonderfully realistic portrayal of a gay relationship that whilst not explicit, leaves you in no doubt as to the sexuality of their characters and indeed of their deep love for each other.

Yet and in as much as Veyt is perfect as Laurent's shoulder to lean on best friend who longs for a life of her own, it's Darlan who shines in her acceptance of her son's sexuality, in a part that starkly juxtaposes with the homophobic mindset of Laurent's mother Jeanne (Danièle Denie) and in particular her bigoted husband Pierre (Idwig Stephane). Thankfully in between all the angst and outright homophobia lies some beautifully uplifting moments, as Laurent finally comes out to his parents; albeit not in the way you may expect. The result is a landmark work of French gay cinema, ingrained as-it-is with the raw reality of a parents love and sexual acceptance and how and like self-acceptance, it is for many - not an overnight experience. Need more be said?

›› available as part of the PECCADILLO PICTURES catalogue: 14th December, 2009 / UK.
›› revised: Friday, 15th April, 2022.

Gay Visibility - overt | Nudity - from the waist up | Overall - file under ... 4 stars

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