© Prokino (FOX)

Meeresfrüchte (Mariscos Beach, Crustacés et Coquillages)

Opening 21 Jul 2005

Directed by: Olivier Ducastel
Writing credits: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau
Principal actors: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Gilbert Melki, Jean-Marc Barr, Jacques Bonnaffé, Edouard Collin

Mariscos Beach by French directors Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau appears to be a light musical comedy, but actually asks the serious questions, “Should gay couples have the right to marry or have children? Would they make good parents?" Marco (Gilbert Melki), Laura (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) and their two teenagers go to the French seaside on holiday. The oldest daughter immediately meets a new boyfriend on a motorcycle and vanishes over the horizon. Laura soon invites her lover from Paris to join her and they meet secretly to enjoy their sexual freedom. Son Charly’s gay friend comes to visit. Laura immediately suspects that her son may also be gay and accepts it, but doesn’t know how to approach him on the subject. Marc has a completely different reaction which leads to misunderstandings. What a surprise to find out that Charly is not gay after all.

Throughout the film, water sets the mood, such as changing tides of the sea or the shower running. This and the music help create a certain rhythm. The water is a metaphor for what works and what doesn’t. The shower in particular often doesn’t work so they call a plumber, who happens to be Marco’s ex-lover. At this point, everyone confesses, putting secrets on the table. Marco’s ex-lover doesn’t understand why he left so mysteriously, and Marco explains his wish to marry, have children and be a father. Laura’s reaction in this idealistic world is complete understanding. In the end, there are no villains or conflicts, just a lively song. The next summer in the same vacation house Laura is with her lover from Paris, Marc is with the plumber, Charly has a new girlfriend and his gay friend a new boyfriend. Everyone has a niche in this perfect gay utopia. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)

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