Homeboys on the Beach | Chicago Reader

Homeboys on the Beach

A box-office hit in France, this lively 1998 comedy concerns teenagers from a Paris housing project whose faked documentary on a drug dealer and addict wins three of them a beach vacation in Biarritz (the fourth, who played the dealer, soon joins them). Leaving their neighborhood for the first time, they behave like and are sometimes treated as misfits, bumbling about, encountering racism (one is Arab, another African), running out of money and food, and mostly failing in their attempts to pick up girls. First-time director Djamel Bensalah, himself 21 at the time, mixes video and film to heighten the sense of dislocation; even the busy stylistic quirks, such as his pointless pans and tilts, contribute to the sense of youthful energy in search of an outlet. 90 min.

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