Gorgeous bronzed bodies on the beaches of southern France and a passionate romance between two French teens are reason enough to see Come Undone, but this bittersweet, turn-of-the-millennium gay classic also has some profound things to say about the heartbreak of gay first love.
Eighteen-year-old Mathieu (Jérémie Elkaïm) is vacationing at the beach with his family when he meets local teen Cedric (Stéphane Rideau). After an extremely erotic kiss, the boys begin a hot and heavy affair, complete with skinny-dipping at night, nude dancing on the beach and intense lovemaking in the dunes. Yet as Mathieu grapples with his sexuality – and copes with his sick mother, absent father and a characteristically annoying little kid sister – his bond with Cedric grows stronger… until, like so many first loves before and since, it bursts.
Released to critical acclaim in 2000, Come Undone, directed and co-written by Sebastien Lifshitz, beautifully conveys Mathieu’s coming-of-age (a scene in which he comes out to his mother is still quite moving almost 20 years later). Both lead actors, Stéphane Rideau and Jérémie Elkaïm, are incredibly charismatic and give remarkable performances as the affectionate teens.