Film Commentary [2-16-00]
Boring French Sex - - Romance
Genre: Drama/French
Grade = C-
French with English subtitles

Synopsis from their website: “With cool precision and stunning intimacy, Catherine Breillat's ROMANCE paints a provocative portrait of a young French woman, Marie, and her journey to gain control of her life. Claiming he loves her, but that he has lost his desire for her, Marie's boyfriend, Paul, refuses to engage in sexual relations, catapulting Marie into a desperate search for intimacy and erotic connection. Humiliated by Paul's cruel power play, Marie embarks on an escalating sexual journey that tests her own phsyical and emotional limits, and which, through an ironic twist-of-fate, eventually leads her to fulfillment.” Basically, the premise is that the woman’s boyfriend won’t have sex with her and she wants it; she wants it BAD and she’ll go out and find it if she has to.

Distributed in the US as unrated and supposedly filled with erotic scenes, and even rumored to be actual film of the actors screwing on screen. Huh? I didn’t see any of this. An episode of the Simpsons is more erotic (ok, except for the bondage scene which I actually thought was more humorous than erotic). Apparently all of this stuff was edited out so that I would be able to rent it at Hollywood Video. If that is the case, they might have taken out the only reason anyone would actually want to watch this thing. Remember Striptease and Showgirls. Films about naked women that were atrociously bad. So bad that I stopped Showgirls in the middle, rewound it and took it back to the store.

This film is bad, but not quite as bad as Showgirls. The dialog was flat. The acting was banal and too straightfaced (much like Steve Martin’s performance in The Spanish Prisoner). The storyline and script were a joke. The camera is panned around for long shots of the characters doing absolutely nothing. I simply didn’t like any of the characters except for the bondage guy, and that was merely because he seemed like an ordinary guy despite what he was in the middle of doing. His rooting around in his box of bondage equipment looking for something that he would like to use was actually the high point of the film. It was funny. Maybe the film was filled with subliminal feminism that went completely over my head, but I really doubt it. The ending was unrealistic and stupid. It was just bad all around. Even if the edited out sex had been there it would not have been able to save this film. Spike Lee did a better job with She’s Gotta Have It. At least that film was occasionally funny. This film was BORING and a complete waste of time. If you want to see a good movie about an individual investigating new types of sex, see Eyes Wide Shut.

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