While on vacation with her family, fourteen year old Lili vows to lose her virginity. She attracts the attention of a good looking, middle-aged playboy and with the skill of an adult and the naivete of a child, she seduces him. Her involvement with this older man and a chance encounter with a musician further her journey toward sexual awakening.
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Yet this is a decent film, and not the unbridled kiddie porn that so many reviewers here might have had it be (although I'm really thinking of "The Lover," I believe Delphine Zentout had to be at least 18 at the time the film was shot). What I find fascinating about these films is the fact that I know women whose sexual development is much like those of the female leads in these films. Lili even reminds me, now, of my fiancee in both physical and sexual aspect and, to some degree, psychological aspect. She (Lili) is a troubled girl with a deep and rarely satisfied desire to break free of her family, and her sexual pursuits provide her what little relief she can find, even on holiday.
Definitely worth a look.
The title refers to a children's dress size that the 14-year-old lead, Lili, played with snap by Delphine Zentout, is bursting out of. Billed as a "French Lolita," Zentout is not all that fetching at first glance. She's a chubbette with light skin and thick black hair and not exactly pretty. But she has intriguing eyes and a saucy way about her.
Lili is "discovering" her sexuality, but won't let herself be impregnated. The playboy, played with grace and economy by Etienne Chicot, falls in love with her in spite of himself and "tolerates" her reluctance while being partially satisfied in other ways, one of which we used to call a "cold f..." They are a believable match because sexually they are equal: she precocious, he experienced.
Catherine Beillet directs without sentimentality while guiding Zentout to an interpretation that transcends the American brat style and leads us to a thoughtful view of feminine sexuality.
Though the plot behind the film is good, I find it to be not well executed. You watch the movie (which is rather short) and you get to the end and are left thinking, "what was the point?" or "why?". It lacks the basic beauty that is usually found it French films, and it lacks substance. Also, the casting was not done very well. You watch a girl who is supposed to be a somewhat innocent 14 year old virgin, and she looks and acts much older. Perhaps it's just me, and my friends, I don't know.
Overall, I give this film two stars because of one because it is watchable, and because of the effort. It's not one of the worst French films ever, but it is very, VERY far from being one of the best.
Most recent customer reviews
As a fan of Catherine Breillat I had to have this DVD added to my collection. My rating is based solely on the merit of the film, not the DVD. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2002 by Tony Aguila
The film may be worth seeing, but this DVD is of the LOWEST imaginable quality and I strongly recommend you avoid buying it. Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2002
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