Can a man and a woman be friends, live together and be a family, without falling in love? These are the questions asked Platonic, series created and produced by Elie Girard and Camille Rosset, selected at CanneSeries and available this Wednesday on OCS. The series follows Yann (Maxence Tual) and Elsa (Camille Rutherford), two friends who decide to leave their respective husbands to settle in a roommate. The even weeks, the duo appreciates the rediscovered celibacy, the odd weeks, their children come… But will we be able to start a family with friends?
Yann, a 42-year-old botanist at the Bordeaux Botanical Garden, settled young with his first girlfriend, Karen. But their daughter Mila has been the only glue in their couple for some time now. The quadra regularly complains to her best friend, Elsa, a 36-year-old Bordeaux photographer and mother of a little boy she had with Maxime, yet another one-night stand that was finally embedded in her life. † The premise of ” Platonic was born watching a different series,” said series co-creator Elie Girard 20 minutes met during the Riviera festival.
A scene ‘where a friend went to one of her friends and said to her, ‘You have to leave your boyfriend.’ We wondered, “Do we have the right to say that? To what extent can we intervene in the lives of others? Is it legit or are we damaging the friendship?” ‘ he sums up. Unhappy as a couple, Elsa and Yann decide to leave their respective husbands and both go to a roommate after a conversation.
The representation of a new family schema
“The idea was to treat a friendship story the way you would treat a love story. Friendship is a form of love, so we flirt with the romantic comedy genre, wondering if these two people, best friends, a straight man and woman, get along so well that they will raise their children together , stop at friendship or not? What is friendship? Is it enough or not? We wanted to question all this,” continues Camille Rosset, co-creator of the series.
Platonic explores a fairly new configuration in French fiction, that of two adults, separated or divorced, friends, who decide to start a family when they are not in a relationship. Yann and Elsa’s children do not know each other. “We’ve built our season around joint custody: one episode in two, there are the kids, one episode in two, they’re not there to show the schizophrenia of these two parents,” says Camille Rosset. There’s something very classic about it. joint custody and how these two children consider themselves half brother and half sister through marriage… Except their parents are not together, so it creates confusion for them.”
The deconstruction of clichés about gender
With Elsa and Yann, the two authors question norms and “crash-test a different model of life”. By divorcing his wife, the daddy hen Yann will finally come out of his comfort zone and understand that he has missed many things: “Yann is a man who has not yet had an orgasm, who is not comfortable with his sexuality,” says Elie Girard.
For her part, Elsa does not have the maternal instinct and would rather entrust her child to her roommate than take care of it. “Elsa acts like a father old-fashionedthat is, as someone who does not know exactly how to establish a relationship with his offspring, his son in this case,” he underlines.
“There was a real desire to take motherhood out of the representational codes imposed on both men and women, so make a less virile man and a woman who struggles with motherhood, who is not necessarily a good mother. It was important for us to investigate that,” explains Camille Rosset. And to explain: “Elsa has a lot of admiration for her father, a photographer like her, except that he is a great war photographer. She’d like to be like him, but she’s a woman and it’s another time. Maybe it’s finally time for Elsa to kill the father, to find her place as a mother?
“We were interested in taking these two shots and seeing what caused that. These are good narrative engines and this allows us to trigger reflections on the themes that interest us: sexuality, gender, family,” adds Elie Girard. Because in addition to the romantic comedy and the question: “Are Yann and Elsa okay not to end up together?”, Platonic proposes, without judgment, different representations of gender, masculinity, motherhood, sexuality and family. A fairly new approach in French fiction that nevertheless corresponds to a sociological reality. “There are many configurations that fiction will have to address: family with three parents, family in gay parent couples… It’s already very much in our society and fiction doesn’t explore this much,” concludes Elie Giard. †