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French Twist Review

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Laurent (Chabat) and Loli (Abril) have an ideal bourgeois lifestyle: Loli is the perfect wife and mother, wholesome but sexy; Laurent is a successful businessman and, unbeknown to his wife, a serial adulterer. Their idyll swiftly crumbles with the arrival of Marijo (Balasko), a butch lesbian who falls for and seduces an eager Loli. As Laurent and Marijo compete for Loli's sexual favours, the three enter into a bizarre menage-a-trois.

★★★★★

Since the attendant furore which delivered, on its release, a potent mixture of critical controversy and commercial success, has died down, what actually emerges is little more than a high-spirited, if disappointingly insubstantial bedroom farce.

Balasko, who also wrote and directed, has wisely chosen not to turn this into a politically correct "issues" film, and the first 45 minutes are genuinely entertaining, full of exuberant flirtation and spontaneous humour. Balasko directs the love scenes with a refreshing subtlety, and she and Abril deliver witty and intelligent performances. However, as the central relationships become increasingly complex, the film slowly meanders into farce, with Chabat required to do little more than deliver a series of clumsy slapstick routines.

As romances go, it's admittedly unconventional and an undoubtedly titillating prospect for both gays and straights. But despite the combination of relentless joie de vivre and an admirable lack of preaching, it's neither charming enough to seduce nor gritty enough to be subversive.