Romance

Romance

Directed by Catherine Breillat

Starring Caroline Ducey, Sagamore Stevenin, Francios Berleand

French with subtitles

Leave it to the French to find new ways of having sex without actually touching. Pretty boy Paul (Stevenin) lives with Marie (Ducey) in a pure white Parisian apartment, but won’t have sex with her, or anyone else, either. He taunts her by flirting with every other girl on the dance floor, but it’s just for fun, since he doesn’t sleep with them. Poor Marie! Driven mad because Paul won’t boff, she turns nympho, having wild sex with everyone she meets. As long as there is no kissing or looking each other in the eyes, it doesn’t count as adultery. Sort of like sex in the White House. Eventually, she convinces Paul to impregnate her, but that crafty boy does it so no one gets an orgasm. Now, she must kill him. Oooh — sooo Continental!

Motivation is everything in this film. Why won’t Paul make love to pretty Marie? He’s not gay, not impotent, but just not interested. Why doesn’t Marie take a hike? Is it the challenge of getting it on with the biggest loser in France? Everyone else she meets gets a piece, so she’s no prude. What about her boss? He claims 10,000 conquests, documented and certified by the Guinness folks, and enjoys tying Marie up in a gentle loving manner. And where did that cat appear from in the last scene? Maybe we just missed it, lost against the Yves St Laurent White apartment.

Romance is one of the least romantic movies around. While it holds a strong element of psychological intrigue, it’s more triple X hardcore than romantic comedy. Turgid male genitalia, bondage, oral and anal sex make this a third or fourth date movie at best. Pornography without eroticism, sex without lust, existentialism without hopelessness as Bukowski replaces Camus, Romance showcases the New French Existentialism. See this film, smoke a cigarette as you stare into the ceiling, and contemplate suicide. I’ll join you in a minute.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • The Reading Room
    The Reading Room

    Today’s episode features author Anna-Marie O’Brien talking about her book Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir with Ink 19’s Rose Petralia.

  • Bush Tetras
    Bush Tetras

    Rhythm and Paranoia (Wharf Cat). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

From the Archives