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Les Crevettes pailletees/The Shiny Shrimps


Stars: Nicolas Gob, Alban Lenoir, Michael Abiteboul, David Baiot, Romain Lancry, Roland Menou, Geoffrey Couet, Romain Brau, Felix Martinez

Director: Cedric Le Gallo, Maxime Govare

When French World champion swimmer Gob unfortunately lets rip with a a homophobic tirade on television, he is punished by being assigned to train the eponymous water polo team for their entry into the Gay Games in Croatia - the world's largest LGBTQ+ sporting contest.

Gob faces an apparently insurmountable task.

The Shiny Shrimps, created by team captain Lenoir, are resolutely gay amateurs who are far more interested in having a good time with their gay 'family' than winning.

But Gob isn't prepared to let the shrimps simply enjoy themselves. And so, telling them to 'Stop swimming like girls and show them who's who!', he sets out to transform his team into potential winners...

In synopsis, co-writers/co-directors Le Gallo - himself a real-life Shrimp - and Govare's cheerful comedy sounds like something dreamed up - but never made, for obvious British cinema reasons - by the Carry On crew.

Serendipitously, thanks to a strong if occasionally predictable screenplay, effective to-the-point direction and engagingly played performances that succeed in bringing sometimes schematic characters to likeable life, the film emerges as funny, charming and surprisingly heartening, notably when a funeral segues - startlingly but credibly - into a camp musical number.

Alan Frank

France 2019. UK Distributor: Peccadillo. Colour by Eclair.
103 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 08 Sep 2019