14 September 2004 | dbdumonteil
molded doll, my role is to serve you...
This first movie of a woman directly come from French television is based on comparatively classic basis. Albert Dupontel plays the role of Max, a man who has everything to be happy: a stable job as a photograph, a ravishing wive (Marianne Denicourt) but little by little, depression overcomes him so much so that nearly nothing interests him. One night, during a night of drinking bout, he orders on Internet a molded doll as tall as him called Monique. It doesn't take him long to fall in love with her and to look after her as good as possible to the surprise of his friends.
By reading this summary of the story, it is evident that Valérie Guignabodet, at least in the first part of her movie was influenced by "Kennedy et moi" (1999), a film made by Sam Karmann starring Jean-Pierre Bacri. The latter and Albert Dupontel act the same type of character and present several similarities. They're both family fathers. They are sick of their respective lives. Their wives deceive them with lovers. But at least they find some comfort with their fathers who live in old people's homes. But especially, they regain strength thanks to silly actions. If Bacri found taste for life again because he could get the watch of his shrink (the one that Kennedy wore on the day he was killed), here Dupontel, his love for a molded doll makes him happy and Monique doesn't leave Dupontel's friends indifferent.
Except for the will to show that her main character treats "Monique" like a real woman, Valérie Guignabodet also directed her movie on the meetings between Max's friends and "Monique" as well as the consequences. Through this method we can formulate that "Monique", for the male characters, is the perfect woman, the one that every man would like to get which cause their wives' frustrations.
Guignabodet's work is a good one and if she doesn't avoid the predictable sudden new developments, if her style contains ponderousness, if the film writing lacks coherence towards the end, her movie reserves good moments and it often borders on the surrealism and the politically incorrect. Moreover, the absurdity of the sequences where we see Max taking care of her lifeless love is enhanced by a photography with very kitsch colors and the chosen songs give to the movie a crazy air.
Valérie Guignabodet's career as a film-maker is in a good way as this globally successfully movie shows.