Moody French teens find love and self-discovery in a picturesque French town.
It's easy to get lost in this very fresh and oh-so-French debut feature from the obviously talented Pradal. The visuals are spellbinding - the uninitiated as well as the arty types will be immediately hooked - and, as is the norm with most French fare, the cast is extremely easy on the eye. But beauty is, as they say, only skin deep and although this indulgent romance about troubled youth has its heart in the right place, it must lose marks for its ambiguous and often disjointed plotting.
Marie (Giocante) is a bored beauty in search of a good time. Fourteen and feisty, she spends her days flirting with American sailors stationed in a base near the beach (her nights are discreetly left to the imagination). Her misbehaviour is interwoven with the antics of mean and moody Orso (Malgras). Orso, part of a scooter gang whose members are all as gorgeous as he is, cruises around the seaside town looking pensive and stealing for his supper before - and for no discernible reason - asking his mate Goran (Welbers) to buy him a gun. As Marie's frolics with seamen begin to turn sour, the inevitable happens and the troubled couple hook up, set off in a nicked rowing boat and fall madly in love - then the pair really begin to come out of their shells.
Fashionable French young things being crazy in the countryside is all very well, and the complexities of youthful angst are expertly expressed through the direction. Yet the plot simply isn't coherent or interesting enough to stop boredom setting in about halfway through and winds up really testing the outer regions of patience.
Slightly less art and a tad more structure and this could well have been a masterful debut.