Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Like a Brother" is a French "long short" about reunion with a "best friend"


The idea of a gay man’s reuniting with a past (high school days) best friend is the subject of at least (as far as I know) unpublished novel so far, and it also builds the story of the extended short (55 min) “Like a Brother” (“Comme un frère) from French directors Bernard Alapetite and Cyril Legann. Sebastien (Benoit Deliere) leaves a seaside French town for gay life in the Bastille section of Paris, and leaves behind his straight-leaning and very virile (oh, those gams!) best friend Romain (Thibault Boucaux). The movie story unfolds out of sequence, and uses sepia for the back story of their friendship, which is quite tender. I had a “best friend” toward the end of my high school days which figured in to my life in a way important to me, but the friendship here was closer physically. The suspense, of course, is what will happen when Romain comes to Paris.

The DVD did have a problem with pixillation of the images toward the end of the film.

The notion that young men who run around together can be “brothers” in a way suggestive of “lovers” has figured into fiction before. I have a suspense novel script based on that idea, and one could even say that about the CW “Supernatural” series. The relationship between the men, while tender at times, does not include the social "pampering" that many heterosexual couples expect. There is no sense of "monopoly" as it is OK for each to have their own adventures. There is no anticipation of future hardships or the need for interdependence.

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