Jeanne has an appetite for love that can never be satisfied. Lovers at every corner of her life she is still in search of that "one". When a impromptu tryst on the subway with Olivier gives...
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Jeanne has an appetite for love that can never be satisfied. Lovers at every corner of her life she is still in search of that "one". When a impromptu tryst on the subway with Olivier gives her butterflies like never before she finally finds herself in love, truly in love. Yet she continues her affairs but now with a realization that they are not what she wants, she wants Olivier. Olivier reluctant to continue the romance with Jeanne for fear of hurting her or worse yet her seeing him at his worse. Olivier reveals to Jeanne he has AIDS from a bad needle during his heroine use. This however does not scare Jeanne off and her love for him turns her into a new person who wants to care for him, but that is not what he wants. The two share a common friend that is an AIDS Activist but they don't know it. Then Olivier because severely ill and Jeanne professes her love and her infidelity. That is the last she ever sees of Olivier. She returns to the hospital to find he has left with his ...Written by
Leslie Erentreich, Woodland Hills, CA USA
A contemporary musical in French with bold issues and frank scenarios, yet retaining the delightful elements of song and dance, drama undiminished
Jacques Demy's "Young Girls of Rochefort" 1968 is an all-time favorite musical of mine. When I had the chance to watch "Jeanne and the Perfect Guy" 1998 (aka "Jeanne et Le Garcon Formidable") co-directed by Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau (also co-wrote the dialog and song lyrics), I was amazed at how good they have delivered this musical in contemporary setting. From the very beginning note the music started with the opening credits, and the unabashed hint that this is a musical - a minute into the credit roll, there's a glimpse of a passing man in front of Jeanne the receptionist, turned around holding out his hand and pulled a lady partner towards him as in a dance, I felt that this is a dedication to Demy's films.
The music and arrangements by Philippe Miller include a wide variety approach: from the beginning number by the janitorial crew that contains Middle Eastern flavor, to tango beat on a dancing floor, to a lively marching rhythm inside an Oriental food café with customers twirling with Jeanne and sister Sophie, to duet tender loving exchange between a frank intimate scene of Jeanne and Olivier (portrayed by Virginie Ledoyen and Mathieu Demy - Agnes Varda and Jacques Demy's son), to the up-tempo song with samba, percussion and 'cha-cha' beat delivered by the bookstore lady, and solo declaration of love by Jeanne in the hospital, by the messenger on the stairs outside of Jeanne's apartment door, in addition to the ("Umbrella of Cherbourg" like) literal singing of subjects at hand - a total of fourteen numbers in 1 hour 33 minutes, not forgetting even in a dejected mood of Jeanne's, the delightfully fun duet by sister Sophie and husband Julien's "On Credit" that made our heroine smile again, and the sprightly steps and tune of "Until Tomorrow."
This is an ambitious musical, bold in its endeavor to 'sing out' on current issues, of HIV AIDS concerns, gays and straights, love and lovingness, family and sisterly support, and in contemporary settings as meeting on subways, walking and talking along the river, going up the steps of a slope, in the kitchen or in a hospital. Besides screenplay and direction, music and choreography, cinematography and editing, costume and set design, central to the success of this film is Jeanne portrayed by Ledoyen - she absolutely shines from beginning frame to end. Her face, expressions, body movements, and her energy are infectiously fetching. As Jeanne's mother pointed out, "You have to want love to find it." And when you do, as this film depicted, one would also have to learn to let go of one's expectations in order to give and freely receive love.
Glad to note that the English subtitles were by Ian Burley, who also did the brilliant translations for "Bread and Tulips" 2000 (aka " Pane e Tulipani"), "The Last Kiss" 2001 (aka " Ultimo Bacio, L'"), (Tom Tykwer's) "Heaven" 2002 and more recently, "Kings and Queen" 2004 (aka "Rois et Reine").
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