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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Watched this on the satellite movie channel, and found, in the end, that it was fairly slight but entertaining. More so than many other movies, I found myself going through stages of like and dislike as My Fille, Mon Ange played out. My most serious condemnation, I think, is that I never completely got out of the mode of knowing that I was watching a movie (and the accompanying feeling are they trying to manipulate me), as opposed to simply getting engrossed in the story.

    My single largest 'like', I think, was more "relief" than like: the storyline and the start of the movie had me wondering if these was going to be an unsubtle morality tale depicting the, gasp, horrors of pornography and pornographers. That's not a good thing, because I like both my heroes and my villains, even pornographers, to be a whole lot more rounded than that.

    By the end, though, this was clearly a depiction of one family's response to an evolving situation, and it's pretty clear than there's not a lot of ground higher than the rest. Almost every character is depicted as conflicted or ambiguous in some way. Mr. Dagenais reacts viscerally to the prospect of his daughter having exhibitionistic sex, notwithstanding that he finds out about this while surfing porn sites while his wife waits in bed for him. The porn producer has a business to run, but in the end, gives Nathalie the opportunity to opt out...which she declines. Nathalie is going wild in Montreal, but we also see her writing an exam the morning of her shoot. She also clearly smiles at herself, looking into a mirror while having sex. Angelique criticizes Nathalie for contemplating doing a web porn shoot, but is a druggie stripper.

    So, then, I'd argue that the themes are 'over-reaction' and dichotomy, and the resulting risks and conflicts.

    The story was interesting enough, and I thought the performances were, on the whole, quite good.

    The things I didn't like, and there were a few: - the non-linear story track didn't seem to be that effective or well-handled to me... - some of the dialog, and some of the acting, seemed a trifle clichéd and overwrought; some of that may have been 'lost in translation while on the way to the subtitles' effect, but I'm not sure... - I found the 'as subtle as a 2-by-4' observations about the decline of the church to be ineffectively heavy-handed.

    One plot aspect that got in the way of my enjoyment is the concept of the enforceability of Nathalie's contract to 'perform'... I am definitely not an expert, but I don't think that any contract for sexual services is enforceable--and if the issue were 'pressed', I'm confident that criminal law regarding assault and sexual assault would trump the civil contract. And if Nathalie did break the civil contract, the pornographer's recourse would be limited to the losses incurred, which he would have to prove. So, I thought this was an extraneous plot element that really didn't add anything beyond table thumping opportunities.

    My last comment, in passing: the keywords for this movie include anal sex and painful sex. While I can see where one might have inferred same should one be inclined to rush to that inference, I'd argue that the scenes are much too brief, much too ambiguous to conclude that either occurred.