Relationships and French cinema are as natural a marriage as steak and frites. The latest example is "Presque Rien", which is concerned with the ebb and flow of an affair between two teenage boys.
Introspective and uncertain, Mathieu (Elkraïm) has only just woken up to his own sexuality. His more assertive partner, Cédric (Rideau), is keen on a solid, settled relationship. Mathieu's rocky self-confidence is not helped by his depressed mother (who has been living in her head - and her bed - since her baby died some years before), and his snappy, insensitive sister.
Because director Sébastien Lifshitz has a fondness for the essence of a scene, the film is initially unadorned to the point of confusion. Why is Mathieu in a hospital? Why is he walking in a forest? What good reason can he have for talking miserably to his cat?
Yet the story does settle down, offering up a highly credible, if rather unexceptional, look at the many insecurities and occasional joys of young love: the teenagers worry about the relationship lasting or Mathieu's mother finding out. Another scene featuring the boys' clowning around on dodgems highlights their high spirits.
Even though the film is hampered by a lengthy mid-section which just coasts, both Elkraïm and Rideau are strong enough actors to supply the film with plenty of subtle power.