Proving Hollywood doesn’t have a monopoly on randy college escapades, this unexpectedly restrained French hit has more than sex and money on its mind – though its thesis suggests that most uni-age folk do not. Inspired by true events, Kim Chapiron’s not-quite-comedy follows a trio of resourceful students at a top French business school who apply lessons they have learned about financial markets to their hard-partying campus lifestyle, establishing a prostitution ring of sorts to serve geeky male students. It’s a bleak, knowingly misogynistic set-up; you feel the tonal echoes of David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’ long before one character pointedly namechecks Mark Zuckerberg.
The premise, however, is more lurid than the execution, which shies away from explicit sexual content and instead seeks reassuringly romantic happy endings for its protagonists. The script’s treatment of ringleader Kelly (Alice Isaaz), a proclaimed lesbian who outwardly rejects companionship, is particularly sketchy: it’s not always clear whether the film is commenting on young men’s limited understanding of female sexuality, or merely complicit therein. Still, the focus is fresh and the lead actors as promising as they are pretty.