Vincent (Julien Baumgartner) is a French teenager who’s fairly popular in his school and a member of the swim team. However he’s also secretly coming to terms with being gay, despite the fact he has a girlfriend. When new boy Benjamin (Jeremie Elkaim) turns up, who has a bit of a reputation as a bad boy, Vincent is soon attracted to him. After Vincent’s attempt to kiss Benjamin turns sour, the new boy inadvertently lets Vincent’s secret out.
The teen turns up to school to find graffiti calling him a ‘fag’ scrawled next to his locker and plenty of people ready to laugh and try to intimidate in. As his outing spreads from school to his family, Vincent must face a lot of prejudice, but also begins to realise that maybe not everything about being open about your sexuality is a bad thing.
Originally released in 2004 as You’ll Get Over It, Because Of A Boy is a sweet, moving little tale, with a strong central performance from Julien Baumgartner, ably supported by Presque Rien star Jeremie Elkaim. While the It Gets Better campaign started long after this film was made, Because Of A Boy fits well into the aims of current attempts to show gay teens there’s light at the end of the tunnel. The film doesn’t suggest that being known as gay in school is going to be a bed of roses, but it does show that while there’s possible pain and difficulties, there are also major upside both to self-confidence and that you can find support from many, even those you may not expect it from.
Despite occasional feelings of it being a bit after-school special (although with more flashes of nudity), it’s an entertaining movie that touches on many issues gay men will be able to empathise with, with honest dialogue that accepts the complexities of teen life. With sexy moments and also a nice line on the difficulties that many experience when a girlfriend or ex-girlfriend finds out you’re actually gay, it’s a movie that’s well worth re-releasing.
Overall Verdict: Coming Out may be a perennial and seemingly done-to-death topic in gay cinema, but Because Of A Boy transcends this, feeling true to both the pain and possible upsides of being open about your sexuality at school.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac