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Come Undone (1996)

Jérémie Elkaïm , Stéphane Rideau , Sébastien Lifshitz  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jérémie Elkaïm, Stéphane Rideau, Dominique Reymond, Marie Matheron, Laetitia Legrix
  • Directors: Sébastien Lifshitz
  • Writers: Sébastien Lifshitz, Stéphane Bouquet
  • Producers: Arlette Zylberberg, Christian Tison, Cécile Amillat, Jean-Christophe Colson, Marion Hänsel
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Picture This
  • DVD Release Date: January 8, 2002
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005RRJI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,804 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Come Undone" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

An emotionally subtle film with some surprisingly graphic sex, Come Undone follows 18-year-old Mathieu (Jeremie Elkaim) as he goes on holiday with his depressed mother, her cranky caretaker, and Mathieu's resentful younger sister. At the beach, Mathieu meets Cédric (Stéphane Rideau), a handsome teenager with whom he begins a romance after a kiss in the moonlight. Their relationship is threatened by Mathieu's fears of how his family will react and by a violent former lover of Cédric's, but ultimately is brought to an end by something else entirely. Come Undone shifts fluidly back and forth in time and can be confusing, but by the end it's an affecting portrait of both love and melancholy. Some will find the movie worth seeing just for the many shots of the extremely attractive naked actors romping on the beach. --Bret Fetzer

From the Back Cover

18-Year old Mathieu is vacationing at the beach with his family when he meets local teen Cedric. 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 lovemaking in the dunes. As Mathieu grapples with his sexuality, his bond with Cedric grows stronger untilGorgeous, bronzed bodies on the beaches of France and a passionate romance between two French youths are reason enough to love Come Undone, but this bittersweet film also has something poignant to say about gay first love.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
158 of 161 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I have to do this ... (Major Spoiler Ahead) February 3, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
It is never my style to defend a movie just because people disagree with me. Yet looking through all the comments that slam the movie for having no plot, and even those who like the movie are unable to provide any solid reasons other than the encrypted deeply moving or honest, I feel the need to give my two sense. So bear with me.
Let me first say that I don't think Presque Rien is the best gay movie ever made. Looking at the cover with two naked young guys, I expect it will offer little more than "tasteful" eye candy. But I came away feeling this is a lot better than I expect, and for the exact reason so many other complain about, the plot.
The story unfolds with Mathieu, after suffering from depression; revisit his family summerhouse to pull his life together. It is the same place where two summers ago he met his first boyfriend, someone he just broke up with. Upon arriving, Mathieu pick up a wild cat that's roaming on the street. In the flashback, when Mathieu arrives his family summerhouse for vacation he "picked up" a wild child, Cédric, who basically lives on the street. Instantly we can draw the connection between Cédric and the cat: Mathieu said to the cat "You are cute but you stink". It reminds us in the flashback how he rehearses his introduction line to Cédric to the mirror: "I must admit you are pretty cute". After Mathieu bathed the cat he said you are my little prince charming, just as the carefree and attractive Cédric would be to any gay teenager falling in love for the first time. But there is the less fortune comparison: like the cat, Cédric, as much as he wants Mathieu, is unable to reciprocate the kind of affection Mathieu needs in a relationship.
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111 of 118 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OPEN YOUR MIND April 20, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I think some of the reviewers of this film were too busy waiting for nudity,sex scenes, and simple exposition. This is NOT the french version of "Beautiful Thing" or a soft core romance novel type movie. It is challenging only because it moves away from the "coming out" or "cute boy" genres of gay cinema.
All the characters are realized wonderfully with a minimum of dialogue. The use of silence is a tool that makes you focus your mind and ask questions of the movie. Nothing is pat.
This is a movie that treats it characters (and the audience) with a respect one rarely sees in gay themed movies (one need only compare this movie with simplistic dreck like "The Broken Hearts Club" to understand the difference between respecting your audience versus pandering to it).
This film makes you focus on a young man who is dealing not just with his nascent homosexuality but also serious family issues and a lack of direction in his own life. All these things add to a well-thought out character. And the time jumps gives the viewer the oppurtunity to see how that character progresses (and regresses).
It is not a simple film. But it is a very,very good one.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Real Life! February 9, 2003
By A Customer
This movie left me bewildered and thrilled at the same time. I can't stop thinking about it ever since; about these two characters, and about this magical thing that happens to them at a key point of their emotional development. I felt much sorrow and I was very deeply moved by this movie; but then, isn't it what an outstanding movie is supposed to do to you - grab your feelings and make you think?
I really had no problem with the internal timing (3 different periods of the story that we keep jumping back and forth into) - to me, it appeared fluid and I always understood in which time-frame the story was and why we had jumped. This "broken chronology" did not confuse me, rather I found it added much in depth by showing a violent contrast in the main character : the innocent and playful adolescent vs the wounded young adult he'd become.
Because this is what I found powerful in this film : by depicting a young man and his coming-of-age (this really is a character study, Mathieu's first love and young adulthood), the director touches to essential questions that lie within each of us : the loss of innocence, the coming out of childhood into adulthood, the uniqueness of first love.
A very subtle and deeply moving film, light-years away from the standard productions packaged by Hollywood. Not for uneducated american public, though.
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52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Important! September 12, 2003
By A Customer
Please note that the dvd version Amazon is selling has large distracting subtitles which invade the scenes and detract from the movie. There is no way to turn them off! This is a major problem and you should know about it before you purchase the dvd.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the gay youth films. January 9, 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Why is it that European film makers make better films about gay youth than Americans? From my standpoint, this film is the best in the triumvirate of excellent European films that deal with love and need among young gay men, the other two being "Get Real" and "Beautiful Thing." Of the three, Come Undown is probably the most realistic and most engaging. The innocence, awkwardness and self-delusion of late adolescent love are all well depicted. All of the characters in the film are credible and 3 dimensional, and we are spared the artifice, preachiness, and excessive camp that infuse many American films on the same topic. The acting is first rate, and the film involves real, every day people whose concerns go beyond just homosexuality. We are not dealing with stock characters (and caricatures) from the Boys in the Band or the Broken Hearts Club.
Some readers have criticized the film for being a "downer." No question, the film deals with depression, alienation from family, and fears of the professional consequences of pursuing a gay romance. This is not easy stuff, and let's face it folks---these issues are still part of gay life and a downer for many, many people. The fact that the film confronts the concerns does not make it a bad film, no matter how uncomfortable the confrontation makes the viewers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent progression of a young man's finding himself.
Published 2 months ago by Richard Hartung
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story
This was a lovely youth filled love story, but the ending was definitely lacking. Were we supposed to draw our own conclusions? Read more
Published 4 months ago by A Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars It is what it is.
Nothing earthshaking about this one. It gives some information that might not otherwise be available to the public. It is what it is!
Published 18 months ago by Jack Gire
5.0 out of 5 stars come undone
with stephane rideau & jeremie elkaim how could it not be a winner both played strong convincing roles they have it as a romance think i would add drama
Published 18 months ago by allen
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many questions left without answers
"Come undone" or precisely translated "ALmost nothing" is a story about a summer love between two young lads. Read more
Published on May 15, 2012 by Pitbulltje
4.0 out of 5 stars If what they really want is love, can sex be sufficient?
Director Sébastien Lifshitz trusts in incomplete junctures, ruptured times and constant flashbacks to create a narrative line that encircles the most significant moments in... Read more
Published on October 9, 2011 by Arcadio Bolaños
3.0 out of 5 stars I don't think I've ever finished a movie more disappointed
It's hard reviewing this film without giving too much away, but I'll do my best. Despite being disappointed, this wasn't a bad movie. Read more
Published on June 8, 2011 by clint
5.0 out of 5 stars subtlety is key
This is such a subtle and beautiful film, and subtlety is something I really appreciate in French films. The story doesn't slap you up along side the head with MEANING. Read more
Published on March 6, 2011 by RWoods
4.0 out of 5 stars Starts out slow but builds
I bought this movie thinking it was one I had already seen and wanted to watch again. Unfortunately(and fortunately)it was one that I hadn't seen. Read more
Published on December 28, 2009 by Segue
5.0 out of 5 stars The best movie I've seen in years.
For some reason I've been watching gay movies lately, and I've been surprised at how good some of them are, but this is the best so far. Read more
Published on December 21, 2008 by J. Martin
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