Cousins 2019 Poster featuring Thiago Cazado and Paulo Sousa.

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While Cousins does present the issue of two family members being intimate and a highly annoying character, there is a love there which combats your possible discomfort.


Director(s) Thiago Cazado, Mauro Carvalho
Screenplay By Thiago Cazado
Date Released (Theatrical – Los Angeles) 11/1/2019
Genre(s) Romance, Comedy
Good If You Like
  • LGBT Productions
  • Young Love
Noted Cast
Lucas Paulo Sousa
Lourdes Juliana Zancanaro
Mario Thiago Cazado
Julia Duda Esteves

Plot Summary/ Review

Lucas has always been a quiet boy, and while Lourdes understood why, it didn’t make her worry about her nephew any less. So, when his cousin Mario needs a place to stay, she sees him coming over as an opportunity to make a friend. For while a girl named Julia does come over for piano lessons, it seems Lucas wants to keep that strictly professional.

However, what Lourdes probably didn’t expect, in her Christian home, was that when she is away, the two boys would be quite mischievous.

Highlights

If You Can Get Over The Fact Lucas and Mario Are Cousins, You’ll Love Seeing Them Together

Let’s note, Lucas and Mario are 2nd or 3rd cousins, so there is some degree of separation, but it still haunts the film in the background. However, there is something about their intimacy, which isn’t all sexual, though there is implied sex, that makes you wish that detail wasn’t there. That perhaps they were play cousins, for what Mario and Lucas have is the type of chemistry which could give you butterflies. Especially since the film avoids heavy subject matters that would break the spell Cazado and Sousa put you under.

And by letting you just fall in love with their love, you are allowed to see their discovery of one another as you would any other couple. Thus allowing you to wonder if or when something will happen, as you recognize mutual attraction, experience joy as they awkwardly try to feel one another out, and then feel a little bit like a voyeur when they are getting intimate. This isn’t to imply this gets X-rated, but it is a non-American film, which means the men aren’t treated as Ken dolls.

Mario (Thiago Cazado) laying on Lucas' (Paulo Sousa) lap
Lucas (Paulo Sousa) and Mario (Thiago Cazado)

On The Fence

Julia

Cousins sells itself as a comedy, and there are certainly comedic moments you will enjoy. However, Julia, as a “comedic” character will make you want to take a knife to your ears. The way Esteves plays her makes her way to camp, and while sometimes all she may produce is an eye-roll, other times, you may wish she’d get trapped in a ditch somewhere. A place where the camera never cares to pan to.

But, with that said, a part of you is led to understand that the restrictions we don’t see Lucas struggle with, Julia is. Specifically being raised in the church and the expectations which comes with that. So when it comes to her eagerness, and later frustration, as much as you are pushed to hate her, or find her unbearably annoying, there is a need for empathy. After all, she is a young girl who wants to explore her emotions and body with someone, just like Lucas.

 

Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)

The main thing you may struggle with, when it comes to Cousins, is the idea of two cousins being intimate. For though it does happen, getting past seeing that and the discomfort which comes from how many are taught to frown upon that, it might be difficult. Then, when you add in Julia and the film downplaying the religious element, you can see and appreciate the movie not wanting to go down a more dramatic path, yet also feel by not recognizing certain issues, it took the easy way out.

But, even with that said, who really wants every LGBT production to be about someone struggling with their sexuality? If we are to proclaim love is love, we need to show love in queer relationships the same as we do for heterosexuals. Meaning, we need to experience the newness of untapped feelings and the discovery of how pleasurable it can be to express them – without trauma. Which Cousins ultimately does and despite the blood relation bit making things a tad weird, we’re saying this is worth seeing

 

 [ninja_tables id=”24271″]

If You Can Get Over The Fact Lucas and Mario Are Cousins, You’ll Love Seeing Them Together - 85%
Julia - 75%

80%

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