A Summer Dress  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Une robe d'été is a 1996 short French film directed by François Ozon about a lagging gay relationship that is refueled in an unexpected way.

Sheila's cover of Sony and Cher's classic "Bang Bang" features prominently in the short film. The character Sébastien is a devoted fan of Sheila, and Sheila's version of the Sonny & Cher classic, is featured on the soundtrack.


Luc (Frédéric Mangenot), a young man in his late teens / early twenties, spends his holiday at the sea together with his slightly older and decidedly more effeminate boyfriend Sébastien (Sébastien Charles). At the house they have rented, Sébastien's constant dancing and preening drives Luc crazy and so he heads to the beach, hoping to find some solitude.

There, he meets Lucia (Lucia Sanchez), who suggests for the two of them to have sex immediately. Luc obliges, perhaps also to find out if maybe he is heterosexual after all. During their encounter, Luc's clothes are stolen. After having sex Lucia learns that Luc is gay and has never been with a woman.

Lucia lends Luc her summer dress (hence the title), so he can go home by bike. Wearing a woman's dress improves Luc's mood as people whistle after him and he gets back a sense of freedom. Back at the house, Luc surprises Sébastien, and the two have passionate sex in the kitchen, with Sébastien referring to Luc as his "beautiful girl".

The next day, Luc brings Lucia, who is just leaving, back her summer dress, but she refuses, certainly knowing how important it will be in the sexual role play between the two men and then kisses Luc goodbye.


What sets Une robe d'été apart from other short movies is that a lot of inner development of the characters takes place in the short time span covered by the narrative. In the case of Luc, who starts out with slight resentments against his boyfriend and perhaps his homosexuality in general, straight sex and cross-dressing are a catalyst for self-acceptance in the end.

The film won awards at the Brest European Short Film Festival and the L.A. Outfest.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "A Summer Dress" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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