Initially I had another film in mind for this week, but due to the latest shop updates and Pinterest inspiration I thought I should share this lesser-known Rohmer film with you.
For the longest time I had a certain disdain for Rohmer films: sure, I was completely enamored with Le Rayon Vert as it spoke to me on so many levels (vacationing alone, not finding the right guy and having all your cooler girlfriends trying to ''fix you''), but I also thought that his films were maybe a bit too... preachy and sometimes sugar coated?
Sure he was part of the Nouvelle Vague, but unlike Godard or Truffaut he was less of a political radical, more interested in literature and much older than the rest of the gang.
I've had a renewed interest in his films as a friend from New York (apparently Rohmer is pretty popular in the States; Ma nuit chez Maud was nominated for two Oscars, after all) kept telling me I should see more of his films as they're filled with very attractive women and beautiful scenery.
Now I need to elaborate on my friend's and Rohmer's definition of attractive women; most of his heroins are small-chested slender ladies with light brown hair and a certain fragility to them. They're pretty at best by normal standards, wear minimal or no make up and are mostly shy or socially awkward.
They wear simple loose-fitting dresses and very rarely a bra. There's a certain sensuality in their carelessness and simplicity.
I don't know about you, but I can certainly relate to that. This refinement of style certainly has something typically French, but above all it's Rohmer and particular way of portraying women.
L'ami de mon amie was released as both Boyfriends and Girlfriends and My Girlfriend's Boyfriend (the closer choice to the French title) is a strange tale of friendship, life in the new Parisian suburb and love.
Cergy-Pontoise is one of those out-there places, famed mostly for their art school.
Paris is a very small city per se, with a very large suburban system; there's the banlieue proche within the metro limits or zone 2 and then there's all the crazy places that look like villages or industrial utopias.
Cergy is one of the latter. Also, you have to understand that unlike other places the suburbs are pretty much dead in terms of places to go to or even finding a grocery store open after 10pm. This is not Brooklyn.
But seriously now, this film has everything that inspires me lately- white interiors, silk tops with high waisted jeans, little polka dot dresses, trips to the lake...
Of course I can totally related to the chataine Blanche (Emmanuelle Chaulet) who finds her new cooler girlfriend that's trying to set her up with her typically French jerk self centered friend.
And the eeriest thing about it is that I totally look like her! And kinda dress the same...
Speaking of costumes, there's a very subtle game of colors and outfit switching between the characters.
It's funny that Roger Ebert emphasizes the superficiality of the characters and the way these women treat men as fashion accessories.
I've seen the movie more than a year ago, but I don't necessarily agree with his statement.
However, he does make a good point about the portrayal of the then emerging yuppie/banlieu lifestyle.
While probably not the best introduction to Rohmer's work, it's still a delightful little film.