Title: Just a Question of Love (Juste une question d’amour)
Director: Christian Faure
Starring: Cyrille Thouvenin and Stéphan Guérin-Tillié
Distributers: Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC), France 2 (FR2) and Hamster Productions
Amazon Buy/Watch Link
Country of Origin/Language: France/French (with English subtitles)
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
A guest review by Lasha
This heartwarming French coming-out drama details the difficulties of love between two young gay men, one of whom is able to outwardly express his homosexuality, while the other remains closeted. Laurent, a 23-year-old college student, keeps up appearances and avoids inquiries into his private life by living with his best friend, Carole. The effortless convenience of this situation is shattered, however, when Laurent falls for Cedric, an openly gay man who is proud of his sexuality. Laurent wishes to be able to live that way, but fears the response his conservative parents would have if they knew the truth. By contrast, Cedric introduces Laurent to his supportive mother, who accepts her son as well as his new boyfriend. But although Cedric truly cares for Laurent, he is unable to live a lie, and delivers an ultimatum that will test both Laurent’s courage and the strength of his love.
A friend recommended this movie to me and I am glad she did. I never would have bought a film in French – even with subtitles – unless John Woo did a Parisian action thriller. Just a Question of Love is one of those rare movies that even if you don’t speak French you can understand the plot. It speaks to us all about family, love, being true to ones self and growing up.
Set outside of Paris, we meet Laurent (Thouvenin), a college student studying agricultural engineering. He lives with his friend, Carole, whom everyone thinks is his girlfriend. Turns out Laurent is hiding a big secret from his family – he’s gay. Why is he hiding? He had a cousin who came out and the family disowned him. Laurent knows from experience his being gay will not be welcomed. Enter Cedric (Guérin-Tillié), a scientist who offers Laurent an internship with him. Laurent is at first a dickhead to Cedric – actually for the first half of the movie, Laurent is an ass to everyone – but Cedric sees something in him and Laurent takes the job. Eventually the two men sleep together and fall in love and here is where the drama begins. Cedric refuses to live in the closet and Laurent fears coming out. It all comes to a head…and everything crashes down around Laurent.
While this might seem like your typical coming-of-age movie like Beautiful Thing or Get Real, this film explores more of Laurent’s family dynamic and the relationship between Cedric and Laurent. You get to find out why Laurent is so immature and a jerk – his cousin died of Hep C and no one in the family saw him in his last days because they mistakenly believed he was HIV+ – and it made Laurent bitter and angry. At the beginning of the film, it is hard to like Laurent – Cedric is easy to love – but by the end of the movie, you understand Laurent’s pain and want him to be happy. His growth as a person and lover/friend to Cedric is realistically drawn.
Also, Just a Question of Love has amazing secondary characters, Cedric’s mother, Emma, who loves her son unconditionally and becomes like a second mother to Laurent when his family abandons him at one point. Add in Carole, the roommate/fake girlfriend who is in love with Laurent and you have a cast of characters that ring true. Plus some truly hot sex scenes that only the French can do and this movie takes you on an amazing journey as a boy becomes a man. Recommended.
A well-written, well-acted coming-of-age tale that speaks to the viewer in any language. Romance, drama and love (French-style) at its finest.
Because the movie is listed on Amazon used for $54-399US – I bought it for $20 new – I will direct you towards YT, which might or might not have a copy of the movie there. (Hint, hint).