Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Party 2

La Boum 2, comedy, France, 1982; D: Claude Pinoteau, S: Sophie Marceau, Claude Brasseur, Brigitte Fossey, Pierre Cosso, Denise Grey, Alexandra Gonin

Two years after the last events, Vic is 15 and is an exchange student in Salzburg. On her way back home to Paris, her passport gets accidentally switched with the one of teenager Philippe in the train. When she finds out, she contacts him and starts going out with him. Vic talks with her grandmother about her new relationship, but still hesitates to lose her virginity with Philippe. In the meantime, her dad decides to move to Lyon to work in a laboratory, while mom stays in order to work on an animated film. Vic and Philippe break up, but just when he is at the train station, they make up.

Both "La Boum" and "La Boum 2" are one of those movies that are perceived and remembered more fondly than they actually are, because their simple charm compensates even for their shortcomings. In this almost equally good sequel, director Claude Pinoteau again shows a sense for teenagers, their emotions and problems, and thankfully he again does it with taste, refusing to turn it into a vulgar comedy. A French forerunner and sublimation of all Hughes teen movies, "La Boum" duology is still a fine piece of nostalgia - and one of those better examples of kitsch - where the young Sophie Marceau carries 90 % of the story thanks to her charm whereas the authors again tried to avoid rehashing old steoreotypes from the original.

The joke where Vic has to walk dressed as a prostitute for 3 minutes on the street in a teenage bet was done far more even than it could have ended in some lesser director's hands, whereas the finale is a classic example of one of those "interrupted endings" that end just right, leaving some things open to tickle the imagination yet still giving just enough info to circle out the bigger picture. One must also commend them for re-introducing Vic's ex-boyfriend from the 1st film, where many other movies would have just forgotten him. "La Boum 2" lacks on some areas - for instance, the moment where Vic and Philippe could have been alone in his apartment, but didn't, is not even half as romantic and exciting as let's say the 3 minute interaction between Usagi and Seiya in a similar situation from episode 184 of "Sailor Stars" - yet it is still a quiet delight. Too bad there was never part 3 of their adventures, but director Pinoteau, screenwriter Danielle Thompson and actress Marceau still covertly crafted an alternate history sequel 6 years later with "L'etudiante".

Grade:++

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