Az, a romantic 25-year-old oyster worker, is in a relationship with Jess, the local star of the soap opera Crimes in Sète. Tonight, it’s decided, he asks her to marry him. Nothing goes as planned, but luckily his friends are there.
Franco-Algerian director Emma Benestan is making her feature debut with Fragile, a sunny romantic comedy set in the beautiful setting of Sète, in southeastern France.
Azzedine (Yasin Houicha), a passionate, tender-hearted oyster opener, falls from the height when his girlfriend, Jessica (Tiphaine Daviot) – in whom he thought he had found “the pearl” – declines his marriage proposal. The young man, who embodies a refreshing model of masculinity, will surround himself with his endearing band of friends to face adversity, one memorable summer evening at a time.
Lila (Oulaya Amamra), a friend of Azzedine who has just returned from exile in Paris, takes the latter under her wing, among other things by teaching him a few dance steps to change his mind – and possibly win back Jessica who, during this time, will develop a romance with the actor with whom she co-stars in a series.
It is a film rich in phony dialogues and whose sustained and energetic rhythm makes you want to party with those you love. Let’s mention the characters of Raphaël (Raphaël Quenard), Ahmed (Bilal Chenagri) and Kalidou (Diong-Kéba Tacu), who perfectly complement the merry brigade with their wacky philosophical tirades and their bad shots.
If the scenario gains points of originality by inflicting the heartache which is at the center of the story on a male character, it is disappointing to note that it nevertheless ends up agreeing too well with the codes of the genre.
The outcome (which we will not reveal here) is not at all up to the energy of the first half of the film. In the end, it feels like we’ve seen this movie often. This discrepancy does not forgive, even if we enjoy the very frank, runny and slightly salacious humor. It’s really a nugget in the feel good movie category, but one that reinvents the wheel less than you might think at first.
Fragile is a sincere tribute to youth, diversity and sensitivity which, even if it is similar to many films seen before, has the merit of warming the heart and snatching laughter and smiles.