'Garçon Stupide'

For those of us counting, Garçon Stupide marks the third gay French-language film to open here in less than a month. Of the lot, this low-budget Swiss feature may be the most mature and thoughtful, which unfortunately isn't saying much. Twenty-year-old gay boy Lo (Pierre Chatagny) divides his time between a chocolate factory gig in the mountain town of Bulle and cruising for sex in the city of Lausanne by night. In between, he hangs out with best friend Marie (Natacha Koutchoumov), who graciously offers her apartment as Lo's post-trick crash pad. Filmmaker Lionel Baier splices the story with meta-interviews in which the protagonist addresses an offscreen acquaintance played by the director, a bit of formal trickery that drips with film school precocity. The movie eventually finds a coherent (if oddly dreamy) rhythm once Lo tires of his himbo existence and decides to grow up. The result is a better-late-than-never coming-of-age tale that is by turns earnest and corny, though never stupide.

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