thatcow

Funny ha ha?

Catherine Breillat typically deals with heavier material than this - films like Romance, Brief Crossing, and Fat Girl. The film, even from its title, is being called a comedy. Well, it's Breillat's version of comedy, at least.

The film is another in the time-honored tradition of films-about-filmmaking, as a Breillat-like director works on a film not unlike the previously mentioned Fat Girl - we even have an actress (Roxane Mesquida) from that film as "The Actress" in this one. The story is the lead-up to a most difficult scene - the sex scene, of course - one, which the actors want to avoid or minimize at any cost, and one the director must make "work" no matter what.

Comedy - at least, the most successful variety - is about insight, making keen and often ironic commentary on the human condition. Breillat's work (at least, that which I've seen) is also about insight, mainly how people are doomed to fail in connecting with each other or meeting their needs. It is in this vein that Breillat turns to comedy, and so the difference is not really that great, unless you were looking for the more depressing aspects of her other films. This is merely Breillat-lite, but just as meaningful and human. With the exception of some dealings with a prosthetic penis, the humor sticks mainly to a wry tone, provoking smiles and chuckles rather than outright laughter. If you know Breillat, this shouldn't be a surprise, but those hoping for a romp through some European farce will be disappointed.

Most importantly, the film's climax (no pun intended) has more to do with achieving a real moment than anything else - the point of the whole movie. This, more than anything, makes me question if "comedy" is the right word for this film, and if making such narrow categories is a good idea anyway. In the end, it's Breillat trying to make us smile, rather than cry, which is nothing to complain about.

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