Getting to Know Oneself in ‘Holiday Camp’

Holiday Camp

‘Holiday Camp’starts out with two girls, Benedicte (played by Emylou Brunet) and Muriel (Laura Boujenah) gushing about Jordan (played by Alexis Michalik), a counselor at the ‘Holiday Camp‘. Find out more about this French short film on BLtai’s recap!

Holiday Camp

Jordan is handsome, tall, muscular, and so charismatic, and the girls are obviously enthralled. The two talk about the possibility of having a girlfriend. Benedicte asks if Muriel likes him. Muriel says she does not really have a problem with mature guys and Benedicte tacks on “especially with guns like that.” (No judging with preference, but if a “mature guy” prefers young girls… run!)

Benedicte quickly tells her that if she were Muriel, she would focus on Matthieu (played by Paul Perles) instead because that’s more realistic. They both regard Matthieu who is currently playing volleyball with Jordan and the other boys. Muriel and Benedicte agree that he is not so bad and Maxime (played by Axel Wursten), who is with them at the swing set smiles. 

Later on, at a bonfire, Maxime and the others are playing games and drinking with the other campers. Jordan finds them though, and immediately they hide their drinks. Jordan tells them that the going party is not until tomorrow night so they should already head to bed. Muriel and the others brush him off, saying they are about to turn in and Jordan lets them, before warning them not to have too much fun. 

Antoine (played by Come Levin) mocks Jordan as he walks away. Muriel tells him off and says he is teasing him because he is so much shorter than Jordan. They start to quarrel but before they can continue any further, Matthieu shushes them and says it is her turn to play truth or dare now. Matthieu asks Muriel and she picks dare. Matthieu thinks for a moment before coming up with a naughty challenge: for Muriel to kiss Benedicte. The two girls initially protest but eventually give in under the condition that Matthieu kisses someone of the same sex as well. Antoine immediately volunteers himself and sits next to his friend. The girls disagree and say it’s too easy to do it with Antoine since they are friends. Muriel suggests Maxime who has been watching them the entire time.

Maxime objects to it and says it is not funny. They goad him and say that it is a competition on who lasts the longer win. Matthieu ends up sitting next to Maxime and together, they get ready to kiss. On the count of five, the two pairs kiss. The girls kiss perfunctorily and break off just as quickly as they kiss. Matthieu and Maxime, however, end up making out passionately. Antoine comments on it which quickly has Matthieu pulling away and spitting. Antoine teases that they slipped tongue and the girls laugh about it. “It was getting steamy, was it good? Did you like it?” Antoine teases Matthieu as he goes back to sit beside him. Matthieu brushes him off and says they win. Antoine does not let up and asks Maxime if he has little butterflies in his stomach and if he’s in love which seems spot on because Maxime looks guilty as he wipes his own lips. Antoine continues to mock Maxime and says he looks shy so it must be true. Maxime denies it, of course, because it’s just a game, he says. He gets up and goes away from the group as Antoine calls him a fag. Yikes. 

Holiday Camp

The next day sees Maxime watches the others play in the pool as he sits alone. Matthieu calls him over to join them but he refuses. Antoine joins in asking him to join but mocks him for sitting alone. He asks whether Maxime’s got a hard-on from seeing Matthieu shirtless. Maxime throws it back to him and says he’s the one who has been jumping all over Matthieu. Maxime walks away as the girls rag on Antoine. Ha, get him! 

In the evening, the campers gather for what seems like a social night. Maxime sits alone as the others observe him from afar. Antoine asks if they think Maxime is really gay. Muriel suggests that they do a test to confirm. Muriel then saunters to Maxime and leads him to the dancefloor. There, Muriel guides Maxime’s hands on her behind as they dance while the others watch them. Maxime keeps moving his hands to a safer area but Muriel keeps pushing them down to her buttocks. Behind them, Jordan observes what is happening on the dancefloor. 

Maxime quickly picks up on Muriel’s intentions and walks away. Muriel happily skips back to the others and says that it’s confirmed, he’s gay. Jordan asks them what’s going on and Antoine says it’s nothing, it’s just that Maxime is totally gay. Jordan is appalled. Muriel says it’s fine to laugh about it. Jordan asks them if it’s okay to laugh if they find out that he’s gay too. Antoine counters that he’s not. Jordan asks why, is it because he’s not his idea of what a gay guy should look like? Jordan walks away and leaves them, especially Matthieu who seems to be contemplating things.

On the day that they’re leaving, Muriel and Benedicte once again gush about Jordan on the bus, but still in disbelief that he’s gay. Jordan notices them gawking and playfully asks if they want a picture. The girls say why not, he’s still hot. Jordan poses as they take photos of him.

Maxime arrives and is in the act of sitting elsewhere when Matthieu calls him to join them in the backseat. There’s still space for him, he says, and Maxime ends up sitting next to Matthieu. Jordan says it’s his turn now to take a photo. The group gathers closer and poses for Jordan. Click. Matthieu reaches for Maxime’s hand and tangles their fingers together. Click. Another picture. Click.  And suddenly Matthieu and Maxime are kissing once again as their friends laugh.

 

Writer’s thoughts:

Despite ‘Holiday Camp’ being fun and quick to watch at first glance, there’s something to be said about how Jordan, an older gay guy, stood up for Maxime when he was being cornered by his friends about his sexuality. The fact that he challenged the younger campers’ perception of what homosexuals are supposed to look like according to society is laudable and is this writer’s main takeaway from the film. 

‘Holiday Camp’ is cute and is something you can digest in one sitting. It’s something that viewers can relate to, albeit a recall of something painful like their friends betting on their sexuality, or perhaps the colorful experience of discovering one’s self, and in the process, their first love. 

Watch ‘Holiday Camp’ on GagaOOLala.

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