Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo (2016)

OLIVIER DUCASTEL, JACQUES MARTINEAU

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB

Original Title: Théo et Hugo dans le même bateau

, 2016, .   Screenplay by , .   Cinematography by Produced by .   Music by , , , .   Production Design by .   Film Editing by .

The provocative opening of this film takes place in a Paris sex club, where gentlemen engage in all sorts of deliciously (and mostly unsimulated) sexual activity until the focus falls on two of them: Theo and Hugo have a mind-blowing time together on the floor of the club that sparks a connection deeper than just physical pleasure.  They follow their instinct for each other out to the street and head back to the one’s apartment to continue their bliss until a revelation stops them in their tracks.  The fantasy that thrived within the club has to deal with the unavoidable reality  beyond its walls, and pretty soon they’re spending a night crossing the capital of romance, hoping to figure out if their experience is a fluke or if they really have what it takes to surmount the hurdles being presented.  Told in an almost Cleo From 5 to 7-level sense of real time, Jacques Martineau and Olivier Ducastel’s sexy love story dares to subvert the usual narrative, that physical pleasure is something to be surpassed in order to get at something more significant, telling us instead that the eroticism of these two handsome young men enjoying each other is a valid part of whatever significance they find with each other after.  The more serious topics that the film broaches never come across as lectures (and certainly pay compliment to France’s health care system), in fact even its hairiest issues are part of the romance thanks to everything playing against the elegant backrop of Paris at night.  The two leads have a chemistry that begins red-hot and turns sweet as their affection starts with an X-rating and then slowly, lovingly goes towards PG.

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