DIRECTOR: JOSIANE BALASKO
COUNTRY: FRANCE 1995
MUSIC: MANUEL MALOU
CAST: Victoria Abril, Josiane Balasko, Alain Chabat, Ticky Holgado
SUPER FEATURES: Crazy story all the way through. Film afraid to end it.
French sex farces can be hell. Well, for American audiences, anyway.
Unlike the American attitudes towards sex, France seems to take a more lackadaisical attitude towards it, and by doing so, it is able to create
films like this one. And this type of situation, is not one that the majority of America, away from the big cities, is likely to appreciate on any
level, least of all a sexual competitive situation.
But if one can get out of the inner turmoil that religion, or any form of idealism can add to a relationship, then this film is funny and spends more time discussing the commitments that people make to themselves and each other, than it does anything else. And in this case, the two people who are better decided on their sexual preferences are the ones that seem to do better.... well, they are also the two extremes in this story.
A married couple finds themselves with a guest, who happens to be gay. And she wastes no time making friends of the wife. As the film wears on, the wife is enjoying her probably as much as the husband, but there is one problem. The opposites are trying to create problems for each other, by confusing the woman in the middle. The husband is having to swallow his male ego, and the woman is having to swallow her female ego. Caught in between, of course, is the one that can not make a decision, and can not figure out what she really wants to do. On one hand she has a family and husband, and on the other she wants to better fulfill the sedate life that she obviously has been a part of.
As the film moves on, it really becomes a sort of boring farce, and all the characters are getting worn down. No one can win the battle, and no one is prepared to lose it. And when one has a victory, the wife feels guilty and moves in the other direction.
This film might have been better suited, and accomplished its aims, if the director might have placed someone else in the role of the woman that comes in between the married couple. Her staying in the middle of it all, is really a problem in that the film never really provides an objective enough choice for anyone... these are always subjectively made emotional decisions, which at least the film shows that can not be good and long term decisions... that is, they don't last. A director on the outside checking it as she goes along, might have made the film less emotional and at the same time more interesting... as it is at this point, it is just a farce, with lots of bumbling and crazy decisions, that no one seems to have any desire to hold up, which, for this reviewer, just makes the whole thing more confusing... what's the point? Lead a mix-married life?
Funny film in that the situations are crazy, and the characters are crazier still... other than that, don't take the whole thing too serious, as I don't think it is meant to be.
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