The titillatingly titled “Bang Gang: A Modern Love Story,” by writer-director Eva Husson, is described by one character as “a modern fairy tale.” It’s an apt label, as fairy tales are often cautionary.
A group of bored French teenagers, fueled by a rivalry of sexual one-upmanship, and empowered by the intoxicating brew of absentee parents, peer pressure, hormones, drugs and pornography, find themselves discovering the wanton pleasures of group sex.
Husson brings a generosity of perspective to the film — it switches point of view often, between Laetitia (Daisy Broom), the plain but popular girl; her beautiful best friend George (Marilyn Lima); stud Alex (Finnegan Oldfield), whom the girls tussle over; and Gabriel (Lorenzo Lefèbvre), the lonely kid next door.
All of these youthful, nubile bodies, objectified by everyone, sensually pulsate to an electronic soundtrack and are a stark contrast to the broken adult bodies in the background. Husson’s film details the consequences of such free love, but it celebrates sex too — the kind based on intimacy and love. Teens and sex: it’s a tale as old as time but this take is surprising, invigorating and sharply frank.
‘Bang Gang: A Modern Love Story’
In French with English subtitles
Running time: 1 hour 38 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Royal, West Los Angeles; Laemmle Playhouse, Pasadena