ALL THE BOYS AND GIRLS IN THEIR TIME is a series of films
commissioned by the French-German TV station Arte. Ten directors were
asked to participate by making a movie about their teenage years. Each
film had to include at least one party scene which highlighted the music
of the time. TRAVOLTA AND ME, Patricia Mazuy’s entry, transpires in
1978 and (not surprisingly, given the title) takes its inspiration from
U.S. disco and SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER.
For those of my generation, TRAVOLTA AND ME holds a strong
nostalgic component. Beyond that, this is a nice period piece that has
limited success muddling its way through the teenage angst engendered by
a first love. The main character, Christine, is wildly infatuated with
American actor John Travolta until she meets real life heartthrob
Nicolas. While the boy sees Christine as just another potential
conquest (and an opportunity to win a bet with his friends), she falls
head-over-heels for him. What follows starts out as a pleasant
examination of coping with youthful passion and the pressure to have
sex, but ends in a wildly over-the-top look at what many teenagers wish
they could do.
In its restrained moments, TRAVOLTA AND ME is an effective, often-
moving look at one girl’s struggles with the conflicting desires created
by the approach of adulthood. When the story is focused, it works.
However, things become unbalanced near the end as Mazuy permits all
sorts of strange and unbelievable events to take place. These lend an
unreal aura to the final twenty minutes that distances us from
characters we’re still getting to know, dulling the impact of the
concluding sequence and dampening an otherwise fine character study.
961MB | 1h 8mn | 720 x 576 | avi