My Sex Life (1996) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

original title: Comment je me suis dispute ... (ma vie sexuelle)
If you asked the typical American to describe the typical French film, he would come up with something like this movie. No action, minimal development. A group of neurotic intellectuals chain-smoking unfiltered cigarettes and discussing women and Spinoza. Some of the main characters are even philosophy professors.


see the main commentary
 Now, don't get me wrong, I like Spinoza as much as the next guy. Come to think of it, the next guy doesn't really know who Spinoza is, and the other guys in line don't know anything either. And the occasional guy who does recognize Spinoza's name either doesn't know anything about his contribution to modern thought, or doesn't like the tedious little fart. There's only one guy who actually likes Spinoza, so it isn't hard to keep tabs on the Spinoza fan club, and I can give you his name and address in the Hague, if you like. 

So I guess I was right before - I like him as much as the next guy. I had to memorize some quick facts about him in a survey course. The usual stuff - major works, catch phrases, height, weight, on-base percentage. When the final exam was over, I promptly cleared Spinoza out of that valuable space in my brain reserved for philosophical matters, in order to have more room to store the Carling Philosophy.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen letterbox, 1.66:1

  • no features

A little known fact. Walt Disney's "Spin and Marty" was based on a joint biography of Spinoza and Martin Buber, in which the author used these two great philosophical giants, both Jewish men who were experts in Christian theology, to reconcile the seeming paradoxes in Judeo-Christian thought. Disney simplified it a bit, into a story of a rich kid and a regular kid who went to the same summer camp, but I feel it still carried the profound essence and spiritual duality of the original.

By the way, for you non-French readers who don't know her, Marianne Denicourt is a beautiful woman, and did a full-frontal nude scene. Unfortunately, this DVD is of a very weak quality which doesn't show off the women (Emmanuelle Devos did a brief flash of her breasts) or the photography, and I don't recommend it at all, except for that one guy who likes Spinoza, and you know who you are, four-eyes. 

The Critics Vote

  • nothing online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.6 
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 C. Average fare in the all-talk-no-rock French genre of "love is worth pursuing, not not attaining". If you don't like that genre, this will certainly not motivate you to start renting Eric Rohmer films to catch up on what you've missed.

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