Oct 16, 2014

"La Belle Vie": Boy Meets Girl, Yet Again

Jean Denizot's La Belle Vie (The Good Life) is the winner in the Venice Film Festival's Europa Cinemas Label and is getting reviews like: "a masterpiece!"

Sigh.  Here we go again.

Brothers Sylvain and Pierre (Zacharie Chasseriaud, Jules Pelissier) have on the run with their father Yves (Nicolas Bouchaud) for 11 years, ever since he lost them in a custody battle with their mother.   They spend their time splashing around naked under a waterfall, paddling down the Loire River, and reading Huckleberry Finn.  


But the homoromantic idyll vanishes when 18-year old Pierre disappears after stealing a horse, leaving 16-year old Sylvain alone with his father.

Without his older brother, Sylvain is horribly lonely.  Until he meets Gilda -- "his first girl, his first crush, and the first stop on his way to the good life."



I guess there's no way on Earth that Sylvain could ever have met a boy.

Nope.  According to Hollywood, or in this case, cinema francais, male relationships are irrelevant or destructive.  They may be ok for children, but eventually all men grow up, and gaze longingly at the girls walking in slow motion into their lives.  Hetero-romantic desire is the only road to happiness -- as James Brown tells us,  a man is nothing, nothing at all, without a woman.

I've seen it all before, from The Summer of '42 on down, over and over and over and over.