Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Voyez Comme Ils Dansent (See How They Dance)

PCMR Verdict: It's called 'See How They Dance', but PCMR recommends you avert your eyes, and avoid spending two hours in this kind of company.

PCMR Rating: 3/10

Life can't be easy for people who are easily offended. Just imagine being shocked by the simple fact of someone on TV swearing before nine o'clock in the evening. Mind-boggling, really. It's tough to imagine how life's actual hard knocks will impact on people so sensitive. After all, things could be an awful lot worse. For example, only last week PCMR heard one of the kids totally drop the c-bomb on 'DeGrassi'. He didn't even prefix it with a "no offence, but.." or anything! Which of course, would have made it totally fine, because as everyone knows, using that prefix means you can say anything you like to anyone and they aren't allowed to get offended. (Well, duh! - Ed)

The thing is, if you blog regularly, the state of being offended is a useful maguffin, even if it is, let's say, artificially enhanced for creative purposes. PCMR may have even employed such a device on this blog over the years, but recently I've realised that the habit of being offended is something I'd like to try and kick. The thing is, when you're offended by something, where do you go from there? Folks, the journey from measured critic to air-wasting troll starts with one angry review.

So, with this alarmingly grown-up resolution in mind, I'll not get too worked up about 'Voyez Comme Ils Dansent', which I should first point out, is completely and unreservedly terrible.

This meandering fluff tells the story (arguably) of a famous performance artist and total douchebag named Vic (already annoying - Ed), and the two women who love him. First, he (James Thiérée) has an affair with his doctor, Alex (Maya Sansa), and divorces his wife Lise (Marina Hands). Then, he emigrates to a remote part of Canada to be with Alex, where he subsequently does something even more douchey to her, which, according to the house rules, I would spoil by telling you about. Considering how bad this movie is, I seriously doubt that, but rules is rules.

So, Lise then somehow contrives to travel across Canada by train, and, lo and behold, her train ends up delayed in Alex's remote tiny village, and she urgently needs a doctor! I know, right? How mad is that? That Lise ends up moving in with Alex for Christmas is probably a low watermark for the bonkers twists and turns that this movie takes. The plot feels improvised and haphazard at best, as if the director would prefer to forget about such trivialities as story structure (pfft!) and get on with filming the Canadian countryside instead.

Given that Vic himself is such a douchebag, it is difficult to sympathise with the two women who fell in love with him. His wife Lise doesn't have too much character to speak of until she gets divorced, whereupon she somehow engineers a work project in Canada. Humm. Her train journey from one side of the country to the other involves carrying a movie camera and smoking the occasional joint. She's complicated like that, you know?

The conceit of her contrived meeting with Dr. Alex is my biggest problem with this movie. The thing is, without it, the film would be dead in the water after about half an hour, and though it pains PCMR to say it, that would improve this film immensely.

Alex (Maya Sansa) probably comes out best from this movie, as she's a more likeable character than Lise, and clearly has better boobs. Director Claude Miller gives us a peek at both female characters' breasts, with both shots comically gratuitous in the style of a lot of French yoghurt and cheese adverts. (Although perhaps Alex needed to go for a naked swim in the lake, and I'm just being cynical). As if to redress the balance of gratuitous nudity before the end of the movie though, we also get a male full-frontal shot, with Vic's junk also put up there on-screen for us, all arty and challenging like.

On the positive side, there are some nice location shots of Canada.

It's pretentious, and a lot of old nonsense, and Maya Sansa is the only one who might come out of it without terminal career damage. 'Voyent Comme Ils Dansent' even has an annoying title!

So avoid this one if you can, but if you do happen to catch it, PCMR asks you to try and imagine the opening credits start with the words: "no offence, but..."

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