Me, Myself And Mum


Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

Guillaume Gallienne, centre, sweeps the board at the Césars
"It’s a crowd-pleaser and only the most stern of hearts and minds could fail to be seduced by its charm and the incredible persona of Gallienne."

As a piece of cinema Me, Myself And Mum, shouldn’t work. It is a confessional piece about sexual identity written and directed by stage actor Guillaume Gallienne, who is little known outside France.

It has a theatrical framework and is based on Gallienne’s own solo stage performance. Fortunately for all concerned it works brilliantly, relying heavily on Gallienne’s own charisma, versatility and comic ingenuity.

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It deals with his relationship with an overbearing mother, who brings him up as an effeminate boy while his two siblings bond with his macho father (André Marcon) and go off on rugby weekends. Guillaume indulges in more gentle pursuits, such as a holiday in Spain where he is taught to dance – except he learns all the female moves to much hilarity from the assembled company.

Gallienne, in case you don’t notice, also plays his mother, leading to some nimble screen work in which they meet and converse on screen but the artifice seems effortless.

Before he finds his heterosexual self, he undergoes a stint in an English boarding school where he falls for one of his fellow pupils, experiments with his gay side in a Parisian night club (narrowly avoiding a gang bang) as well as the punishing rigours of an Austrian health spa with Diane Kruger at one end of a menacing hose (let’s avoid the gory details).

Through all the indignities Gallienne emerges mostly sunny side up, completely in charge of his persona and the material.

The tone manages to be both poignant and hilarious with a Pedro Almodovar-esque affection for the female of the species. It’s a crowd-pleaser and only the most stern of hearts and minds could fail to be seduced by its charm and the incredible persona of Gallienne.

It won two awards after its first screening in the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, the Valois d'Or for Best Film and audience award at the 6th French Film Festival of Angoulême and has just received the Michel D’Ornano prize as best French film of the year by international critics at the American Film Festival in Deauville.

Me, Myself and Mum will be part of the official selection at this year’s French Film Festival UK, which runs from November 7 to 30.

Reviewed on: 08 Sep 2013
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A comedy of misunderstandings.
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Director: Guillaume Gallienne

Writer: Guillaume Gallienne

Starring: Françoise Fabian, Guillaume Gallienne, Yves Jacques, André Marcon, Nanou Garcia, Yvon Back

Year: 2013

Runtime: 85 minutes

Country: France, Belgium

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