L'Ennui (1998) from Tuna

I stupidly thought that the title, which means "boredom", had something to do with the plot of this French film. Turns out, it is a spot-on critique of the film itself. Charles Berling is a professor of Philosophy who is recently divorced, and in mid-life crisis. An artist friend dies while having sex with a young woman, Sophie Guillemin. Berling meets her, discovers that this 17 year old was doing the nasty for two years several times a day with his friend, and takes up where his friend left off. He goes on sabbatical, and devotes full time to this girl. Even though he is not oblivious to the fact that she is not going to win beauty contests, and that they have nothing together except very energetic sex, no emotional contact or intellectual discussion, he becomes totally obsessed with her, and insanely jealous. Turns out she is also sleeping with a friend her own age.


Sophie Guillemin shows all 3 Bs numerous times in very brutal sex scenes (he uses her like his pecker is a tool of torture) which are pretty much a total turn-off.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • no meaningful features

That is pretty much the plot. She is emotionless and self-serving, and he is neurotic. She is happy with a purely physical relationship, he wants a soul-mate, and wants to posses her completely. Free access to her body is not enough for him.

In short, it was a very long two hours. The transfer was weak, indoor scenes were under-lit, and outdoor scenes were so over-exposed most of the color was gone. It was also full of motion blur, and much of it was out of focus. The subtitles are not optional, and are not very colloquially translated.

Scoop's notes:

1) I wonder what percentage philosophy professors represent of the general population.

2) I wonder what percentage philosophy professors represent of the characters in French movies?

Every culture has its hang-ups. For a while, all American movies were about cowboys. All British movies are about humorous gangsters. All French movies are about philosophy professors. That must prove something, although I can't imagine what, since I'm not a philosophy professor. Ask some French guy.

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDB readers say 6.5/10


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a E-.

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