Excellent French telepic "You'll Get Over It" treads familiar ground in its tale of a high school swimming star who's "outed" when he's barely figured out he's gay. But non-formulaic character interactions, a uniformly strong cast and deft handling by vet TV helmer Fabrice Cazaneuve render a refreshing take on youthful coming-out.

Excellent French telepic “You’ll Get Over It” treads familiar ground in its tale of a high school swimming star who’s “outed” when he’s barely figured out he’s gay. But non-formulaic character interactions, a uniformly strong cast and deft handling by vet TV helmer Fabrice Cazaneuve render a refreshing take on youthful coming-out. Feature could definitely score specialized offshore home-format sales, with theatrical exposure not out of the question despite vid lensing.

Seventeen-year-old Vincent (Julien Baumgartner, from Gallic “American Pie” knockoff “Sexy Boys”) is a role model at his high school — well-liked, star of its high-profile competitive swim team, part of an inseparable triad with best friend Stephane (Francois Comar) and girlfriend Noemie (Julie Maraval). But he’s also seeing older gay man Bruno (Nils Ohlund) on the sly, and feels the burden of maintaining a secret identity.

When quirky, ostracized new student Benjamin (Jeremie Elkaim) pursues him with charmingly dogged effort, the mere fact of their being seen together results in graffiti that “outs” Vincent before the whole school. His fall from grace is immediate and psychologically near-unbearable. Teammates turn on him. Noemie, with whom he’d recently had first-time sex, feels betrayed. His parents are in shock, having been tipped by thuggish ne’er-do-well older brother Regis (Antoine Michel), who gloats over the “golden boy” sibling’s humiliation. But not all responses are negative, and few prove unchangeable in the long run.

While Vincent Molina’s script has its uneven moments, story packs a tremendous amount of character complexity and incident into tight runtime, just occasionally underdeveloping threads (most notably Benjamin’s). Drama and humor are judiciously twined, happy ending well-earned.

Baumgartner’s wholly winning (though credibly immature) protag is supported by nicely observed, dimensionalized perfs all around. Editorial presentation is headlong without seeming rushed, lensing sharp, production package smartly turned.

You'll Get Over It

France

Production

A Capa Drama and M6 Metropole Television presentation. Produced by Herve Chabalier, Claude Chelli, Christophe Chevallier. Directed by Fabrice Cazaneuve. Screenplay, Vincent Molina.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Stephan Massis; editor, Jean-Pierre Bloc; music, Michel Portal; production designer, Olivier Raoux; sound, Beatrice Wick; assistant director, George Every; casting, Agathe Hassenforder, Philippe Page. Reviewed at San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Festival, June 27, 2003. Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Julien Baumgartner, Julie Maraval, Francois Comar, Jeremie Elkaim, Patrick Bonnel, Christiane Millet, Antoine Michel, Nils Ohlund, Bernard Blancan.
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