Eye For Film >> Movies >> Choses Secrètes (2002) Film Review
Upon looking at the poster, one could be forgiven for thinking that this is one of those foreign films with loads of tits in it that Channel 4 likes to show late at night. Well, I'm sorry to say that it's not sexy at all. In fact it's a bit of a soap opera. Take away all the naughty bits and you're left with boring office politics you've seen dozens of times before.
Nathalie and Sandrin get fired from their jobs at a tawdry Paris strip club. They move in together and strike up some kind of weird, half-lesbian friendship. Sandrine has never had an honest orgasm and Nathalie teaches her how to. She also teaches her to lose her inhibitions and masturbate in public. Wow, this may have been shocking back in the Eighties, with Nine And Half Weeks and even lesser drivel, such as Wild Orchid, but now, in the 21st century, it's just plain boring. If writer/director Jean-Claude Brisseau thought he could use this frank portrayal of sexuality in the film's favour then he is very much mistaken.
In fact, the most interesting part of the film is when Nathalie and Sandrine get jobs in the same office and use their sex appeal to climb the ladder. This bit has been done before in Neil LaBute's In The Company Of Men, but not as well. It's here that the best characters are featured, but towards the end of the second act the film goes off on another tangent with the evil company boss turning out to be a crazed sex maniac with delusions of godhood.
Again, sexuality is used as a way to shock, or arouse, but it simply fails. There are so many other films out there that try the same thing and if you want to succeed then you either have to be really erotic, or just plain pornographic (yup, two different things). Choses Secretes is neither. And the women need to seriously think about shaving George W., if you know what I mean. European women like to be au naturel, but DAMN!
Overall, Choses Secretes is neither good, nor bad. It's simply middle of the road. For a film that tries to sell itself with loads of sex, it's somewhat ironic that the best bits are in the scenes where people are just talking.Reviewed on: 29 Oct 2005