CANNES (Hollywood Reporter) - French filmmaker Lola Doillon’s charming but slight rites-of-passage film “Just About Love” follows two likable teenage girls who make a pact to lose their virginity before summer is over. In fact, they manage it before school’s out.
There’s nothing new in the familiar tale — which screened at the recent Cannes Film Festival — but it is told with gentle humor and without ogling its attractive young performers. It could do well with young international audiences.
Elodie (Lucie Desclozeaux) and Julie (Christa Theret) are best friends at high school with a gregarious gang of mates including Vincent (Gael Tavares) and Nicolas (Nicolas Schweri).
Elodie is bright but self-contained, while Julie, who favors the goth look, is more adventurous. They make their pact determined that their first partners will not be from among their buddies.
Elodie has her eye on an older boy in school, but he’s too cool for the room. Vincent, her closest male friend, is in love with her, but Elodie thinks being with him would be like making love to her brother. Julie has no one in mind, but one day after getting wet in some classroom horseplay she is changing her top when Vincent stumbles upon her. Caught up in the moment, they give in to sudden passion.
Being male, Vincent can’t keep his mouth shut, though he would prefer Elodie not learn of it. Meanwhile, Nicolas makes a bet that he can seduce Julie now that she’s turned that particular corner. The usual adolescent games begin.
The story is told with affection and no exploitation of the young players. Vincent is black, and it is indicative of the film’s honest intentions that no reference is made to that. “Love” is refreshingly natural even if it is almost instantly forgettable.