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2014年11月25日 星期二

Tu veux.... ou tu veux pas (Sex, Love, Therapy) (性愛治療室)

After an intense drama, it's a most welcome change to step into a light and delightful subject in which I'm sure every healthy specimen of the human race must be intensely interested, vigorous protest to the contrary notwithstanding. The title of the film is well chosen to attract the maximum number of sex/love (the difference of which has become ever more blurry the farther we wander forward from the Victorian England) addicts: the prettiest feminine face and body in France, the heart-throb of all French females, the lure of some hot and spicy inside stories on that most intimate subject, with a healthy dose of some exaggerated human foibles in that regard and you got a formula with all the ingredients for a hoped for box office success and thus all the pretexts Tonie Marshall ( "Vénus beauté", "France boutique") needed for rolling the cameras and unfolding the results on the big screen.

Tu veux...ou tu veux pas (literally "you want to or you don't want to) (Sex, Love, Therapy) (性愛治療室) (2014) is a sex comedy. The excuse for a "plot" is the accidental encounter between Lambert Levallois (Patrick Bruel) an ex-pilot turned sex therapist on a one year sex-abstinence regime and an ex-international sales director of a multinational who seems to think that the best way of relaxing her male sales team members is to have sex with as many of them as possible and who has just been fired for causing unacceptable "breaches" of some unspoken corporate ethics who stumbles onto the wrong floor of the building ( a dental clinic) for an interview as an "apprentice sex therapist", eventually finding the right place, with a broken green high-heel, undergoing an interview in which all she got to offer to her prospective boss is her "willingness" to learn "on the job", her ravishing looks in a revealing dress and probably deliberately torn stocking with a long tear right up one of her thighs and a pair of green high-heels which just "happened" to figure in a recent erotic dream of her future "patron".

The nympho Judith was "reluctantly" taken on, obviously not for her pre-professional qualifications but as she instinctively intuited, for her sexual charms.  Then we are regaled with a number of  "counseling" sessions for a mixed bag of "sexual problems" : a late teen female Catholic law student who tries all imaginable kinds of substitute sex with her boyfriend provided it will not "technically" do any damage to her physical "virginity" which, as a "good" Catholic, must be preserved at all cost before her marriage; another couple whose female partner complains of the lack of "love" from her hubby, a gay couple who can never stop bickering over the minutest details of daily life, a man who  never manages to sustain an erection for the needed duration etc. Thrown into the bargain are some sex abstinence group-therapy mutual support sessions attended by Lambert on more or less the same lines as "Alcoholic Anonymous"; episodes in which Lambert's high school buddy tempted him with a huge salary with unlimited opportunities for one-night stands in his nightclub in the changing room of an ice-hockey ring during one of his regular practices; an on stage spirited "difference of opinion" during a "sex therapy" professional conference which ended by Judith storming out with her handbag under her arms and having a fling with Lambert's ice-hockey buddy, perhaps deliberately to make Lambert jealous because all her previous attempts to seduce him to come out from his sexual abstinence ended in "almost" complete failure.

The ending of the film is predictable. When Judith finally attended one of the sex-abstinence group therapy sessions, she heard how Lambert really felt towards her. When the film ends, we find the love birds really kissing, Lambert throwing off first his tie, then his jacket, then his belt and Judith throwing off first her light knit-wear, then her shirt, then her skirt all whilst running in the street into an alley into which they disappear for you know what.

It's a light-weight comedy, very French, teetering at the limits of credibility, which one really doesn't seriously expect in a film of this genre. Don't expect any real insight. Just an excellent chance to see my favourite French actress in action exuding her inimitable charms and attractions and a good way to while away slightly under two hours. Patrick Bruel did his best with the script but I could not help feeling that in many places he might just have timed his reactions a wee bit better. But the moment I saw the Time-Warner logo on in the initial credits, I already have a pretty good idea of what I'll be getting! Well, I got what I expected and deserve. I'm not at all unhappy.