Eighteen year old Mathieu (Jérémie Elkaïm), is spending his summer vacation near the coast of Nantes before beginning studies in the following autumn to become an architect in gay themed drama Presque Rien (Come Undone). His mother (Dominique Reymond) is deeply depressed because of the death of his baby brother from cancer, and is cared for by her sister, while Mathieu and his moody younger sister bicker together.
Cedric (Stéphane Rideau) catches Mathieu’s eye while selling candy at the local seaside amusement park. Cedric aggressively pursues Mathieu, and despite his emotional confusion they embark on a romance, meeting for clandestine evening encounters complete with skinny-dipping, nude dancing on the beach and intense lovemaking in the sand dunes. Mathieu’s sudden secrecy and long hours away from home invite the curiosity of both his sister Sarah (Laetitia Legrix) and aunt Annick (Marie Matheron). The young men open up to their respective families about the nature of their involvement, and a fragile happiness sets in. Mathieu’s mother wisely tells him about the importance of pursuing his studies and the fateful direction their relationship will take. Yet as Mathieu grapples with his sexuality and copes with his sick mother, absent father and annoying younger sister, Cédric as much as he wants Mathieu, is unable to reciprocate the kind of affection Mathieu needs in a relationship, which drives them to separation and he attempts to take his own life.
A parallel plotline focuses on Mathieu eighteen months later, as he recovers from the shock of their separation and hospitalised psychiatric treatment. Returning to the small seaside town to learn how to deal with what happened; Mathieu goes to work in a bar where he notices Pierre (Nils Öhlund). Another former boyfriend of Cedric’s Pierre lives with his mother in the seaside town, and they overcome past tensions to discover solace in unexpected quarters.
“Brings maximum subtlety, nuance and insight into the timeless story of first love.”
— Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
“The elusive, quicksilver nature of young love is often reduced to crude simplicities by the movies, but director Sebastien Lifshitz and writing partner Stephane Bouquet have observed it with a superb balance of aesthetics and insight in Come Undone.”
— Robert Koehler, VARIETY
“The photography is strong, the performances sympathetic and the sex plentiful.”
— Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
Did You Know?
The film poster features a naked cropped artwork of the two lead actors Jérémie Elkaïm and Stéphane Rideau by French artists Pierre et Gilles. Following evening shoots for the film Presque Rien (Come Undone), the cast and crew enjoyed swim parties on the beach. Review our Gay Themed Films here