Under cover of sex-farce complications and giddy musical numbers about shellfish, Côte d’Azur envisions a civilized utopia where a loving family life is enhanced, rather than threatened, by the breezy acceptance of multigenerational pansexuality. Writer-directors Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau may set their Garden of Eden in a sensually sandy French seaside village and ascribe rampant desire to the aphrodisiac qualities of snails and mussels. But it’s clear that for the filmmakers, this is a sexy fantasy worth trying at home. And they make the prospect appear alluringly doable. (First, get a French summer home…)
The frothy/yearning concoction emphasizes homosexual contentment — son Charly (Romain Torres) entertains his gay best friend, and Mom (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) is all too happy to assume that Charly is gay too. (She’s all too happy in general, considering that her lover looks like the Maytag repairman.) Dad (Gilbert Melki) has a more complicated reaction to his son’s sexuality. And everyone has a friend in the bullet-headed local plumber (Jean-Marc Barr), who knows how to, let’s say, fix pipes. The performances are mediocre. The heart is big. The weather is swell.