‘Côte d’Azur’


A French family’s seaside vacation is disrupted by repressed libidinal urges in Côte d’Azur, a sex comedy that is neither sexy nor funny despite the abundance of naked flesh and screwball hysteria shoved in our faces. Middle-aged couple Béatrix and Marc (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi and Gilbert Melki) are perplexed when their son Charly (Romain Torres) invites a gay pal (Edouard Collin) to the summer house. Their curiosity about junior’s sexual preference predictably awakens their own illicit desires—Béatrix takes to adulterous outdoor fucking, while family man Marc finds himself increasingly attracted to the nubile houseguest. Directors Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau keep the movie’s horniness from reaching anything close to orgasm. (A repeated joke has the characters enduring cold showers whenever the water heater breaks.) And despite the third-act arrival of Jean-Marc Barr in menacing gaywear, the film clings to a tone of puppy-love innocence right up to the atrocious, interminable finale. Like many a French summer holiday, Côte d’Azur ends up being pretty, listless, and much too long.

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