A prostitute takes in a hobo who becomes her pimp.
This latest venture from French arthouse hero Blier offers a typically idiosyncratic take on the "tart with a heart" figure and makes for stylish if somewhat uneven entertainment.
The story centres around Marie (the excellent Grindberg), a young and successful prostitute, who stumbles across hobo Jeannot (Lanvin) sleeping rough. After providing him with food, shelter and rugged rumpy-pumpy, Marie becomes so intoxicated that she invites Jeannot to become her pimp. Freshly clad in stylish Italian clobber, the former tramp takes to his new profession like a duck to water, soon recruiting other women, such as shy manicurist Sanguine (Bruni-Tedeschi) whose inexperience as a call girl sees Jeannot thrown in prison. Bizarrely, Marie teams up with Sanguine and the twosome go in search of domesticity.
Initially, this is terrific stuff. Early scenes (Marie plying her trade with barely breathing pensioners, Jeannot explaining the pleasures of pimpdom) are sparky and inventive, Blier draws keen and committed performances from his cast and the stylised dialogue, directorial traits and quirky framing create a hyper-real world in which the erratic emotions and motivations do not seem out of place.
After an hour or so, the unpredictability becomes scattershot, paving the way for leftfield plot twists that are simply ludicrous. Moreover, the lack of any discernible point and wild shifts in tone - epitomised by a soundtrack mixing choirs with Barry White - cause a general apathy to set in. Which is a shame as the excellent start deserved a better ending