Should the need to look cultured or worldly arise, anyone – francophile, cinephile, nailphile, whoever – can throw in a reference to Godard, Truffaut or even Klapisch with enough confidence to suggest they know what they're talking about. Get to talking about Pinoteau or Sattouf, though, and you might be met with a few blank looks.
Pinoteau is probably most famous for directing La Boum (1980). It's the kind of film everyone pretended not to like ten years ago but is considerably popular today, thanks not least to its amusing depiction of teenagers going from dancing like David Brent from The Office to sucking face to arguing with their parents and back again. The theme tune is disturbingly catchy, too, although considering it kicks in every five minutes you don't have much of a say in whether it's stuck in your head for the rest of the day or not. You can watch a trailer [link2]here.
Sattouf's Les Beaux Gosses (literally 'the good-looking guys') is another coming-of-age film, appearing nearly 30 thirty years later than Pinoteau's La Boum. Don't be fooled by the title: lanky teenage boys abound, all of them with a wispy suggestion of a moustache, gawping alongside girls who'd simply die if they had to leave the house without a scrunchie (if there's such a thing as a Parisian Croydon facelift – a Creteil facelift? – then it features very heavily here). You might not understand much of what they say, but it's brilliant – sort of like a French version of Superbad but with added mullet. A trailer and some extracts can be found here.
They may not seem like the next A bout de souffle or Les 400 coups, but mention them to a French person and you might just get a grin – or a groan.