Eye For Film >> Movies >> Ma Femme Est Une Actrice (2002) Film Review
Ma Femme Est Une Actrice
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
Yvan Attal lives with Charlotte Gainsbourg. He wrote, directed and acts in the film. He calls himself Yvan. She calls herself Charlotte. He's a sports journalist and she's an actress. Is this comedy, romance or a home movie?
Terence Stamp is in it, playing a famous movie star, which means it must be comedy - his attempts at being suave are hilarious. As for acting, he's only pretending to be terrible. Right?
This is a trivial conceit, with a certain charm. Yvan's problem is that he's bored of his wife's celebrity, because they can't have a quiet dinner at a restaurant for autograph hunters leaping out from behind a waiter. Also, when she's making a movie, which involves passionate love scenes, he's deeply suspicious. She says it's work ("My job is just a little weird"), but he doesn't know when she's faking it.
She goes to London to star in a film with ageing heartthrob, John (Stamp). She plays an air hostess and he plays the pilot. It looks like the worst movie ever made, but that's not the point. What matters is, whose seeing who after hours? Back in Paris, Yvan dreams about it. He's not having a nice time.
Charlotte and John become good friends. How good? Yvan's in pieces and so takes Eurostar to London, where he buys flowers, calls a cab and drives out to Pinewood on the day that the crew decide to work in the nude. It's Charlotte's fault, because she complained to the director that if she was going to strip off, why didn't everyone else? It was a joke - sort of - although no one told Yvan.
That's about it, really. There is a sub-plot, concerning Yvan's pregnant sister who has a hangup about being Jewish and is quite aggressive about things, particularly circumcision. She shouts at her husband on a regular basis, but he's used to it. He stays quiet, lets it bounce off and carries on. Being with them can be argumentative, but it makes Charlotte feel broody.
This is so French. Attal and Gainsbourg are an attractive couple. The film doesn't tell you anything about being married to an actress that you wouldn't have guessed, although being married to Charlotte is different. She has a sense of humour and a figure that goes on being 18 forever.Reviewed on: 27 Sep 2002