Published Nov 01, 2004Ever wonder just how hard it is to shoot one of those love scenes where both actors are naked and forced to make simulated sex believable? Well, the thought obviously crossed the mind of French director Breillat, as she used the premise for a feature-length film.
Known in Canada as the director of the Ontario-banned Fat Girl, in which an older boy persuades a young virgin into trying anal sex, Breillat's Sex Is Comedy touches on a similar moment, though behind the scenes of a film being made.
It's hard not to make a connection between Breillat and the main character, film director Jeanne (Anne Parillaud), as the film could very well be something that has happened to the director. Jeanne is faced with many difficulties in her attempt to make a film about two young lovers. The actors (Grégoire Colin and Roxane Mesquida, who also starred in Fat Girl) hate each other and constantly refuse to do what they're told, making it next to impossible for Jeanne to achieve her much needed continuity.
As pretentious as the film sounds, it actually survives its 90-minute life by throwing many different and entertaining problems into the fold. Most troubles come at the hand of the actor (as he is known), whom Jeanne and her trusty assistant incessantly label a "whore" and "asshole." Whether it's his refusal to remove his socks from the scene (because he is a self-proclaimed fetishist), his nightmares about his cock growing to the sky and taking him over completely, or his need for a prosthetic penis (a recurring novelty throughout the film that is continually engaging), the actor never lets up.
Sex Is Comedy may be a misleading title, as it isn't exactly a barrel of laughs. However, Breillat has tackled another aspect of sex that makes for some interesting screen time and of course, a great topic to cover in your film studies class "Voyeurism in Cinema 101." (Alliance Atlantis)