Et Toi, T’es sur Qui? is the simplest of films – the story of the awakening of love and sexual desire in a small group of teenage classmates – but it is told with such gentle humor and authenticity that it quickly wins the heart.
Written and directed by Lola Doillon, the 32-year-old daughter of director Jacques Doillon, the film concentrates on four characters, all of them well-rounded and well-acted, and a few accessory characters to drive the plot forward.
Elodie (Lucie Desclozeaux) and her friend Julie (Christa Theret), a Goth in the requisite black get-ups and heavy eye makeup, decide that they will have their first sexual experience in the week before they leave school for the summer holidays. Elodie fancies herself in love with the cool Kevin (Vincent Romeuf) and wants him to be her first lover. Whether that will happen and how long it will take is the subject of a hotly discussed bet among her pals, including her best friend, the sweet Vincent (Gaël Tavares).
The film tracks their misguided couplings and uncouplings, but the plot isn’t really all that important. The world of these 15-year-olds is portrayed from the inside – the only adults we see are a few annoying teachers – and it feels very true, with their awkward bravado and proficient use of cellphones, text-messaging and online chats. Parents will cringe at their obsession with and knowledge of sex, and their willingness to jump right in under social pressure, even though they are all secretly terrified and don’t much enjoy it when it does happen.
In a nice touch, our heroes are forced by their school to get a little practical work experience learning the arts of fish and meat butchery (professions they are manifestly uninterested in), providing an usual backdrop for their interactions.
Most of these talented young actors are appearing onscreen for the first time, and one of them, Nicolas Schweri, was even discovered in the Métro. This is Doillon’s first feature film, and it gives us hope for more films from her about real people, told with true sensibility and a sense of humor.
At the end of the film, Elodie wears a T-shirt with the song title “Why Must I Be a Teenager in Love?” written on it. The movie explores that theme with great charm.Favorite