In Côte d’Azur (Crustacés et Coquillages) Marc (Gilbert Melki) and Béatrix (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) are a fickle, happily married couple with two overindulged children who live in Paris. After being informed that his aunt has just passed away, Marc receives a luxurious mansion on the Côte d’Azur as legacy and decides to take his wife and kids on a midsummer getaway back to the roots of his childhood. The family moves into the newly-acquired seaside villa and regularly feasts on shellfish during their pleasant sojourn. However, as soon as the two parents arrive, their daughter, Laura (Sabrina Seybecou) is hell-bent on going to Portugal with her scruffy boyfriend, Michaël (Yannick Baudin).
The son, Charly (Romain Torres), is headstrong and always defiant towards his parents. Misunderstood and sexually-curious, Charly is berated for not having a girlfriend and is thought to be gay by his family. During the summer vacation, the young boy encounters and befriends an openly homosexual lad named Martin (Edouard Collin), which frustrates and irks Marc to no avail. Charly is still confused about his orientation and seeks to experiment with his newly-found urges when he follows his friend to a local gay hookup area. After meeting up with plumber Didier (Jean-Marc Barr), with whom Marc had a romantic affair in the past, Charly realises that he isn’t actually gay, but his father is. Everything becomes even more complicated when Béatrix’s side man, Mathieu (Jacques Bonnaffé) is introduced into the picture.
“Cote d’Azur (Crustacés et Coquillages) is a gem, a sunny farce stuffed with great comedic interludes and film homages that puts its characters through life altering events yet leaves them emotionally unscathed.”
— Reeling Views
“The striking thing about Crustacés et Coquillages is its easy-going and unforced approach to its characters and its complete lack of hang-ups about their sexual preferences and activities.”
Did You Know?
The film’s original title is Crustacés et Coquillages (translated as Cockels and Mussels) and refers to the movie’s catchy central melody. The directors admitted that they were heavily influenced and inspired by Eric Rohmer’s earlier work in the making of Côte d’Azur (Crustacés & coquillages), particularly his 1982 hit, Pauline at the Beach. The characters’ constant escapades in the shower also came about in the script due to an inside joke between Martineau and Ducastel. Review our Gay Themed Films Here