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British and foreign films in this genre

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On the Paramount Vault YouTube page, there is a British flick (originally released through Paramount Classics in America) called GET REAL from 1998. I watched it this morning, and while some of the technology and music is already dated-- the story is very accessible to modern audiences and nicely presented. 

 

Has anyone else seen this movie? And are there other ones worth checking out like GET REAL?

 

It was sort of refreshing to see a gay coming of age story that was made outside the U.S.

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I think I saw this one- it had a different poster for it's US release

Did it have a different title...or just a different poster?

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I saw it many years ago -- it was called Get Real. Charming movie.

Just loved it. Couldn't believe I hadn't ever heard of it before. 

 

Have been reading about the original play, and it seems the stage version is rather different from the film in several key regards. Eager to get my hands on the text of the play, which apparently is not easy to come by, and read it. 

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By the way--

 

Think I will do a Today's Topic column about GET REAL in February (since my January columns are written). You wouldn't believe the amount of emotional outpourings I have come across from others online who have seen the film (often repeatedly) and what it means to them in a directly psychological way. 

 

Haven't seen such response to a movie in a long time...and it's helping me deal with a bad relationship I tried to bury over twenty years ago. So maybe on some level it's a healing film, not sure-- but probably I will explore some of this in a column.

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I had a very emotional response to "Beautiful Thing".  It reminded me of a relationship that I had when I - and he - were very young.

 

It's a beautifully done film.

 

Who could forget the two leads? 

 

Glen Berry played Jamie and Scott Neal played Ste.

 

Who could forget that they actually got together?

 

And the music by Mama Cass - "Make Your Own Kind of Music" and "Dream A Little Dream Of Me".

 

In this country, the film had a great poster - Jamie and Ste dancing and the title,
"Beautiful Thing", underneath.

 

I also saw the play in an Off-Broadway production years ago at The Cherry Lane Theater.

 

Of course, it was a different experience but it was still very powerful.

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Does anybody remember "Come Undone" or "Presque Rien"?

It was a French-Belgian production - a haunting film really - about the love affair between two 18-year-old boys, Mathieu and Cedric, that was not meant to be.

 

It was directed by Sebastien Lifshitz and starred - memorably - Jeremie Elkaim and Stephane Rideau.

 

It had the feel of Otto Preminger's great film, "Bonjour Tristesse", in which a deeply disturbing event is seen from two different angles - as it happened and as it is remembered. 

 

 

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One summer of love.

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A film like "Come Undone", which explores the love affair between two adolescent men, is a very brave film in my opinion, because kids aren't fully formed individuals and often come with a lot of baggage.

 

The director, who also co-wrote the screenplay, manages to give us two distinct individuals who do have a lot of problems.

 

Matthieu is saddled with a mentally unstable mother, who spends her time in bed, a housekeeper who acts like his mother, an inquisitive sister and a distinct feeling that he might be "gay".

 

Cedric has left home, because he can't stand his father's new live-in girlfriend and hasn't gotten over the fact that his mother abandoned him a long time ago.  He left school at an early age and is currently employed in a fast-food establishment in a resort town.

 

When Matthieu and Cedric get together - Cedric is the more aggressive one - their need for each other is total and complete.

 

Of course, they are always grappling with their personal problems, which do get in the way of their relationship.

 

And, like kids often do, they fly off the handle and get "pissy".

 

But Cedric's need for Matthieu is so overwhelming that he, Cedric, can always manage to keep them together.

 

In the end, they decide to go off to Nantes together - Cedric will begin a training course and Matthieu will continue with his education (architecture).

 

Now, here is where the film runs into trouble.

 

There is a framing device in which Matthieu is in a hospital, has long, involved conversations with a psychiatrist and has obviously tried to kill himself.

 

And, then, there is a later framing device in which Matthieu returns to the resort town where he met Cedric and attempts to hook up with an older man.

 

What went wrong between Matthieu and Cedric in Nantes?

 

We are never told.

 

Are we to assume that they were not emotionally mature enough to sustain a loving relationship?

 

That is not the evidence in the film proper.

 

There is a no-holds-barred sex scene on the beach that shows us that their sexual compatibility is both real and rare.

 

These two guys should never have broken up.

 

I reject the film's sad, sad ending.

 

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These two guys should never have broken up.

 

I reject the film's sad, sad ending.

 

 

Why do you think the filmmakers opted for an unhappy ending?

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Why do you think the filmmakers opted for an unhappy ending?

I wish that I could figure it out.

 

Both Matthieu and Cedric were so hopeful for the future.

 

If they had been able to set up a life together, to me, that step forward would have been the braver ending.

 

But this unhappy framing device, which involves Matthieu's suicide attempt, DOES NOT GROW OUT OF THE MATERIAL.

 

(In Otto Preminger's film, "Bonjour Tristesse", there was a similar framing device, but Cecile (the Jean Seberg character) deserved her unhappy ending, because she meddled in her father's love life and caused the death of his mistress.)

 

(In Sebastien Lifshitz's film, Cedric simply tries to bring a young man into his life - and succeeds, too.)

 

(The title means - Almost Nothing - again, it doesn't really apply to the film.)

 

 presque_rien.jpg

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I wish that I could figure it out.

 

Both Matthieu and Cedric were so hopeful for the future.

 

If they had been able to set up a life together, to me, that step forward would have been the braver ending.

 

But this unhappy framing device, which involves Matthieu's suicide attempt, DOES NOT GROW OUT OF THE MATERIAL.

 

(In Otto Preminger's film, "Bonjour Tristesse", there was a similar framing device, but Cecile (the Jean Seberg character) deserved her unhappy ending, because she meddled in her father's love life and caused the death of his mistress.)

 

(In Sebastien Lifshitz's film, Cedric simply tries to bring a young man into his life - and succeeds, too.)

 

(The title means - Almost Nothing - again, it doesn't really apply to the film.)

 

The title, literally translated, seems ironic and potentially 'happy.' Because to have nothing would be tragic. But it's not quite, or almost, nothing. So maybe in a way, they had it all. Right?  Okay, maybe I'm reaching with this one!

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The title, literally translated, seems ironic and potentially 'happy.' Because to have nothing would be tragic. But it's not quite, or almost, nothing. So maybe in a way, they had it all. Right?  Okay, maybe I'm reaching with this one!

It's like somebody came along and said to the director, "Okay we cannot have a happy gay love story.  We are going to eliminate the happy ending.  And we are going to give it a great deal of "tristesse".  This film could've had the title of the Preminger film,"Bonjour, Tristesse".

 

Bonjour_Tristesse_film_poster.jpg

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