'Mon Homme' follows a happy hooker in love

December 26, 1997|By Vance Durgin | Vance Durgin,ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

The choices we make in life in the name of love and what they lead to is the theme of Bertrand Blier's latest, "Mon Homme," which opens at the Charles today.

The movie focuses on Marie, a beautiful French prostitute (Anouk Grinberg), and shows the joy, or maybe pride, she takes in her work. There's no moral issue for her. As she says, "I like men and I like money." So what's the big deal? She's happy with her choice and happy with her life.

We can see this as she takes customers up to her flat. She makes the old feel young, makes the timid seem strong. And she gets real excitement from the encounters.

But she has a problem: There's no real love in her life. That situation changes when she finds Jeannot, a homeless man (Gerard Lanvin), lying near some garbage cans and takes him home. At first, it looks like all he wants is a hot meal, but of course the encounter turns immediately sexual. And it turns out Jeannot isn't exactly untalented in that area. In fact, at this point the movie starts looking like "Another Tango in Paris" but changes suddenly when Marie decides she's in love and that Jeannot should be her pimp. A "nice pimp," as she puts it. She makes $1,000 a day and will give it all to him. Such are the ways of a professional woman in love, presumably.

The relationship works for a while. The freshly scrubbed, now designer-outfitted Jeannot quickly adapts to a life of luxury. But his boredom leads him first to affairs and then to the requisite abuse of Marie.

By then he's having an affair with Sanguine (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), a wholesome manicurist he tries to turn into a hooker. When the women learn of each other, more complications ensue as they try to change their lives and Jeannot learns his lesson.

Blier ("Get Out Your Handkerchiefs," "Too Beautiful for You") tells this simple story with touches of wry humor. Love, the film seems to be saying, is nothing to be trifled with. No matter what form it takes.

'Mon Homme'

Starring Anouk Grinberg, Gerard Lanvin, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Olivier Martinez

Directed by Bertrand Blier

Released by Artificial Eye

Rating Unrated (nudity, graphic sexuality, frank sexual language)

Sun Score: ***

Pub Date: 12/26/97

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