★★★★ | The King Of Escape

Tubby French tractor salesman Armand is having some sort of mid-life crisis.

Openly gay with a penchant for mature married men that he picks up in a cruising area outside of the country town where he lives, his life takes a dramatic turn when he jumps to the defence of a teenage girl who is being attacked by four thugs. 16-year-old Curly is the daughter of Daniel one of Armand’s work rivals who is less than grateful for Armand’s bravery (in which he had paid the thugs rather than physically beating them off). Curly, however, is thrilled, and sees in Armand a knight in shining armour who she persuades to rescue her from her controlling father and an oppressive home life.

What happens next in this wonderfully bizarre oddball comedy is a fair stretch of the imagination but thanks to the collection of odd larger-than-life characters, you cannot fail to be charmed. Bored Armand is easily persuaded by an excitable and very sexy Curly that he should try batting for the other team. He does manage to lose his ‘straight cherry’ helped by some magical enhancing roots he digs up in the woods where most of the sex (and there is a lot of it) takes place. Before he does take off however despite the fact that Armand is really a lazy slob, he still manages to persuade his straight boss with a deadpan face to let him give him a blowjob.

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When Daniel persuades the local police chief to put a tracking bracelet on Armand he retaliates by running off with the horny teenager with half of the local community in hot pursuit. However, when both the novelty and the effects of the chewing the roots wear off, Armand is very keen to dump his young new girlfriend and go back to his world of tractors and old men. There is a hilarious end to the story with a lot of the latter and all naked.

The movie made in 2009 by writer/director Alain Guiraudie has now been released on VOD/DVD following the phenomenal success last year of his award-winning very explicit and controversial Strangers By The Lake. The abundance of sex in this earlier movie, however, is played more for laughs and cannot be described even in slightest as being mildly erotic or sensual. What Guiraudie does succeed at so well is making his gay characters devoid of any of the usual clichés and has them simply blending in with all the other locals without anyone raising an eyebrow about their sexuality.

Be prepared to laugh a lot and also be shocked by all the nudity.