Monday, October 3, 2011


"Marie & Floriane"
Whether you're secure or not, 'Water Lilies' is kind of a dangerous movie to watch. It's about curiosity and discovery among a group of high school teenagers (both gay & straight) and at times it can get a little TOO sexual. It invokes the spirit of everything from 'I am Curious' to 'A Nous Amours' or any other (mostly European) film that shows underage, pouty, promiscuous teen girls. 'Water Lilies' is the story of a love triangle (or "love SQUARE" if you wanna get technical about it) between 4 high school teens: "Marie" (a shy unpopular lesbian),  "Anne" (another unpopular teen who's also Marie's best friend), "Floriane" (a popular, attractive girl and captain of the swim team with a reputation for sleeping around) and "Francois" (one of the popular kids like Floriane and the only boy in the scenario). Marie is in love with Floriane. Floriane has feelings for both Marie & Francois. And Francois has a secret crush on Anne, but is kind of in a relationship with Floriane. Its like an entire R-rated season of saved by the bell captured in a 2 hour movie. Each of the main characters in 'Water Lilies' almost represents a famous character from past coming of age films that deal with the same basic plot...

Marie is a somewhat depressed
teen coming to terms with her
sexuality and has a crush on a
popular (straight) teen in 'Water
Lilies' (2008)

Just like Marie, Cam is also a
depressed high school teen with a
crush on one of the popular kids who's
also straight in 'Wild Tigers I have
Known' (2007).
The 2 actors even kind of look
like each other

Floriane (water lilies) & Suzanne
(a nous amour) are attractive,
detached, sexually open high school

Suzanne in Maurice Pialat's
'A Nos Amours' (1983)

the relationship between Anne
& Francois is very similar to Dawn &
Brandon in 'Welcome To The
Dollhouse' (1996)...

In both films, Francois (water lilies) &
Brandon (dollhouse) are popular,
while Anne (water lilies) & Dawn
(dollhouse) are unpopular, so their
relationships are secret

I enjoyed this film very much. The only reason I rented it was because it co-starred one of the actresses from 'House Of Tolerance' (Adele Haenele), but it turned out to be a great movie. I'm always a fan of a good coming of age film that shows youth as the complex human beings that they really are. 'Water Lilies' has quite a few touching and/or heart warming scenes (Floriane setting the record straight about her so-called sexual reputation to Marie and the scene towards the end when Marie and Anne make up after fighting with each other are just a few stand out moments).
My one complaint about 'Water Lilies' is that there's a lot of obvious sexual innuendos or scenes that show teenage girls as sexual objects that I don't think are always necessary. Like I said earlier, watching this movie could seriously make someone feel uncomfortable (especially if you're a man). There's all these scenes of the girls showering together, barely clothed or the one scene where Floriane is eating the banana. Sometimes its like i wanna ask the director (who is a woman); "are you making a movie about the sexual exploration of young teens? or are you trying to make these young girls out to look sexy for the audience?"

If you look at 'Water Lilies' a certain way, it kinda plays in to that "hot lesbian fantasy" that we discussed in "Women On The Verge Of  A Nervous Breakdown". But this film takes it to a whole other level because unlike all the movies we touched on in that write-up (persona, black swan, mulholland drive, 3 women, la ceramonie, etc), the girls in 'Water Lilies' are GIRLS. Children. You gotta be careful with that. When I was searching the net for images to use in this blog almost every other image result was one of the scenes where Marie and Floriane kiss. Obviously this means that an image of 2 underage girls is a popular search on google. Not very surprising, but at the same time that kinda says something about our society doesn't it?

'water lilies' (2007)

'persona' (1966)

'water lilies'

'black swan' (2010)

even this promotional picture for the
movie looks like it was inspired by
images from 'Persona'


'Water Lilies' also features a really great soundtrack by French producer Para One...


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