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Like A Brother Aka Comme Un Frere [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Directors: Bernard Alapetite, Cyril Legann
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Parasol Pictures Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Sept. 2006
  • Run Time: 56 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H8RWVA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,341 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

This is another great European example of a familiar theme being explored in a touching and affective neat narrative film that follows 18 year old Sebastien as he leaves school to find his fortune and love in Paris. The cast is not only attractive but likeably realistic in thier portrayals of two friends coming to terms with their sexuality and discovering all the pitfalls of love and happiness and sex.

There is nothing prurient about the graphic sex scenes but evocatively they serve to remind us all of first yearnings, first love and first time.

A really precious little moving film. With typical french passion it is directed and performed in a sensitive yet honest way.
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Don't be put off this DVD by its awful cover. This is actually quite a good film, or rather two-thirds of a film, since it only lasts fifty-six minutes and ends when it gets interesting. Put it this way: my partner expressed no interest in the DVD when I put it on; he just carried on reading the paper. But within five minutes he was hooked.

North of the Loire's mouth is the small seaside town of La Baule. Here, young student Romain is in love with his best friend Sebastien. But Sebastien is straight. Romain decides to escape from La Baule and move to Paris to live with his father. Yet Sebastien doesn't want Romain to go, telling Romain that he is like a brother to him. "It's not a brother I need ... I've already got one" replies Romain. `Things' might have happened between them but for a phone call just as `things' got started.

The film ends six months after Romain has moved to Paris, where he has started a new life and found emotional fulfilment. But then Sebastien calls him to say he is in Paris for a few days; they meet in the Jardins des Luxembourg ...

Shifting backwards and forwards in time and place, nothing much happens except for what counts as the quotidian in a sleepy seaside town. But being young and gay, life is never boring in whatever surroundings. With scenes alternating between Paris and La Baule, it's all professionally shot, but some of the handheld camera work can annoy after a while. Overall, though, my partner and I both enjoyed this film, especially the cute young actors in the two leading roles.

Apart from a behind-the-scenes gallery, there are no extras, although I note in the films credits a reference to a `Making of ...' documentary.
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First, I would advise anyone considering to buy or rent this film that it is under an hour long. I found the synopsis was misleading, as the film has no conclusion and ends quite abruptly (leaving the viewer wishing to know more). The story charts a young gay man's relationship with his straight best friend, told in a dizzying combination of flashbacks interspersed with his present day activities. The mix is so complete that even one night in the present tense appears to have been sliced up and distributed across most of the hour! As another review mentions, this film makes more sense if watched twice.

I gave the film four stars as it was superbly and sensitively acted, the direction is superb and the use of scenery, language and music is very effective, however I found the narrative quite confusing and was disappointed by the abrupt ending.
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This little French film is a sensitive portrayal of gay teen angst set against the backdrop of a sleepy French town and the vibrancy of Paris to which Sebastien escapes after failing to consummate his intensely close friendship with best friend and apparently straight, Romaine. (I think a reviewer got them mixed up). Some of their scenes together are touching and tender. We see his progress in coming out in the big city, sampling anonymous,unfulfilling sexual encounters, through to a semblance of stability with a boyfriend. This is shattered when he receives a phone call from Romaine who is in Paris and wants to meet up. What does this mean? Is it a tease? Or will they get together at last? Sebastien has changed, has Romaine? Well, we shall never know because just as the pair walk off together (and not into the sunset) the film ends. After 55 minutes. I don't know if the producers ran out of money or ideas or was there to be a sequel? Or perhaps some other reason. Whatever, it's a shame as this beautifully acted piece - especially so by the two leads - promised so much but what it does deliver is worth the rating. See what you think. In French with accurate subtitles. The disc I got has no extras.
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