(2018) Comedy (Comedy Dynamics) Marguerite Bouchard, Romane Denis, Rose Adam, Anthony Therrien, Vassili Schneider, Claudia Bouvette, Nicolas Fontaine, Audrey Roger, Samuel Gauthier, Elizabeth Tremblay-Gagnon, Jules Roy Sicotte, Adrien Belugou, Alexandre Godbout, Marylou Belugou, Mariane Johnson, Alexandre Cabana, David Fleury, Emaria Doumbia, Sharon Igbui. Directed by Sophie Lorain
=Heartbroken Charlotte (Bouchard) is obsessing on ex-boyfriend Samuel (Cabana) who has dumped her because he has discovered he is, in fact, gay. The plucky 17-year-old French-Canadian girl nevertheless believes she can get him back. Her besties – cynical activist Mégane, and shy awkward Aube (Adam) seek to take her mind off her folly, and they do so by ducking into a big box toy store. There, they see something that captures their attention. No, not acres of playtoys – more like the yummy college boys who skateboard around the store and capture the attention even of anti-love Mégane. Not only do the guys excite Charlotte’s romantic instincts, they send her libido into overdrive as she works her way through the beds of the store’s male population.
This beautifully photographed French-Canadian film by second-time director Lorain takes a look at sexual politics, specifically the double standard when it comes to having sex. While it is fine for the boys to have a contest to see how many girls they can sleep with, Charlotte’s amorous adventures garner her a reputation and the derision not only of the boys, but also of her fellow girls.
Like a lot of teen sex comedies (and this can only loosely be categorized as one), there are no adults anywhere to be seen and so the girls make their way through a tricky minefield of morality and social customs pretty much on their own. Fortunately, the three main characters are richly drawn with lots of depth; you can’t say about any of them that they are one-note or archetypes. Instead, we get real, living, breathing teen girls who, yes, are beautiful, but also bicker, make mistakes and figure shit out.
While sex figures in the movie’s subject matter deeply, parents should be aware that the depictions of sex are never done in an exploitive manner, and are also shown to have consequences, which also differentiates it from male-oriented sex comedies. While there’s an overuse of Maria Callas singing “Habanera” from Carmen (and an almost Bollywood-style soundtrack which just seems a little too oddball, if there is such a thing), this is a movie that has a tremendous amount of heart and an overabundance of hormones. In short, just like most teenage girls.
REASONS TO SEE: A stark examination of sexual double standards. The girls are given distinct personalities of unusual depth. A European-style film from Canada.
REASONS TO AVOID: The soundtrack is a bit quirky.
FAMILY VALUES: There’s plenty of profanity and sex as well as some drug use and teen drinking.
TRIVIAL PURSUIT: The translation of the original French title is “Charlotte has fun.”
BEYOND THE THEATERS: Alamo On Demand, Amazon, AppleTV, Google Play, Kanopy, Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, Tubi, YouTube
CRITICAL MASS: As of 2/25/22: Rotten Tomatoes: 100% positive reviews; Metacritic: 74/100.
COMPARISON SHOPPING: Ghost World
FINAL RATING: 8.5/10
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