Let it Rain Agnes Jaoui

Considering the success of Jaoui's earlier films (The Taste of Others and Look at Me), it seems strange that her newest work would skirt around a few North American film festivals, never finding a theatrical release. After watching the film, however, it makes perfect sense. Let it Rain is about comfort zones and one's inability to leave them, regardless of best efforts. It mirrors the inconvenience of rain with the nuisance of feminism in a "man's" world via Agathe Villanova (Agnes Jaoui), a militant politician given entrance to the political scene through the gender equity movement. She finds comfort in domination, a socially appropriate mode of success, much to the chagrin of life partner (Frederic Pierrot) and her housekeeper's son, Karim (Jamel Debbouze), who both find her ball-breaking attitude frustrating and distancing. While the film points out these gender differences through an abundance of expository talking points, they often retreat from the text of the film, much like Agathe's political stance, which is never revealed. The majority of Let it Rain follows Michel Ronsard (Jean-Pierre Bacri), a documentary filmmaker whose intolerable incompetence irritates his "powerful woman" subject to no end. These characters reveal each other's flaws and seem fully aware of their own but never grow from this knowledge, which essentially defines the narrative. This approach could easily sustain the story, as a lack of progress readily reveals tragedy, but here there is little of concern. Rather, we have a bunch of relatively privileged people harping on the Republican fear of change without an awareness of such. The audience likely won't be aware of this either, nor will they care. Included with the DVD is an hour-long "Making of" supplement that details rehearsals, cast discussions, behind-the-scenes footage and textual intention. It's informative but unfortunately offered only in French, much like the trailer. (Seville)