The French born director and screenwriter Alain Guiraudie is best known for LGBT movies and his latest Stranger by the Lake (2013) is no exception offering a refreshingly honest depiction of gay sex and cruising, all wrapped up in a murder mystery. If you enjoyed that movie then I am sure you would enjoy his previous film The King of Escape made in 2009. Although this lighthearted offbeat comedy is nowhere near as dark as Stranger it's equally as entertaining.
The story involves a rather plump 43-year-old tractor salesman who has a sexual liking for mature married men whom he picks up in what can only be described as a cruising lay-by situated just outside the small French town where he lives and works. It's when Armand comes to the rescue of a sixteen-year-old girl who is being harassed by four young thugs that his life begins to take a different direction. Curly not only turns out to be the daughter of one of Armand's work colleague but she also takes a strong sexual liking for our tractor salesman. The movie then asks us to believe that this overtly gay man falls for this rather sexy young woman! But eating some magical roots that he digs up in a nearby forest help this partial transformation. The excitement really takes off when Curly's father persuades the local police to get his daughter back and Armand and the teenager go on the run. Will Armand stay with the girl or will the temptation of randy old men draw him back to his previous life style?
Yes there is a lot of sex and nakedness but never in an embarrassing or offensive way in fact I enjoyed the casualness of the whole movie. The acting is first rate especially by Ludovic Berthillot who underplays Armand Lacourtade to great effect and Hafsia Herzi, who played Samira in House of Tolerance (2011), is great as the horny teenager Curly Durandot. But I must give credit to all the actors involved in this production right down to the smallest of parts who make this story very believable, funny and enjoyable. Never receiving a general release in UK cinema’s its now available on DVD.