(TORONTO, ON) – Love and Philosophy. Not my Type launches itself in true Pygmalion fashion. Hairdresser Jennifer meets philosophy professor Clément who is none too pleased he’s being assigned to a university teaching position in Arras, some 90 minutes from his beloved Paris. He’s perpetually dressed in black like some intellectual villain.
Jennifer is awfully attractive and Clément handsome so, physically, they make a good looking couple. In no time at all, they are rolling in the sack. Be prepared for some heavy breathing and sighs.
Clément and Jennifer are from different backgrounds.
While Clément attends the opera Jennifer loves Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston movies. Whereas Clément reads Kant, Jennifer prefers magazines and trashy novels.
Despite all this they appear to adapt well to each other’s lifestyle and tastes.
Eros and carnal analysis are Clément’s topics in his latest book. Theoretically and philosophically, he knows everything about sex and love until, of course, he is hit straight between the eyes with it. His statement that love is always a prison, and that he doesn’t believe in long term commitments, loses him his girlfriend in Paris.
And with Jennifer telling him she believes that flings are so sad and that she still believes in love, there is a bit of conflict ready to explode.
Clément reads her philosophy and Jennifer starts reading Kant. He goes wild and loses himself at a karaoke bar she sings in, with her gal pals. Things are indeed looking good ,so we could expect a cheesy outcome of long lasting love.
Jennifer may not have the vocabulary and education that Clément does, but she has some deep observations on life, albeit sometimes they are stated in a simplistic way. Jennifer says hairdressers and philosophers really are similar as they arrange things.
Things start going downhill mighty quick when she sees Clément’s book in a bookstore and buys it. Although we never see her read the book I am sure she does reads it and starts to ask probing questions of the expert on lust and love.
Jennifer shows in intellect and in emotion that she just may be superior to Clément. Her tongue lashing of Clément near the conclusion of the movie is a memorable performance. His lack of emotion and love is quite evident in his failure to show love for Jennifer.
He’s a cold logical fish. Jennifer is a warm and ebullient woman.
Isn’t it odd that the philosopher Clément fails again in love, not for lack of reason but for lack of emotion?
Émilie Dequenne, as Jennifer, puts on a marvellous performance, saving the movie from becoming cheese. She emanates a love for life effortlessly. In fact, her performance was so good she won a César best actress nomination, in 2014.
Loïc Corbery’s performance as Clément is immaculate. Any cheese in the screenplay is overcome by the excellent acting of these two.
(Not My Type (Pas Son Genre), France/Belgium 2014, Director Lucas Belvaux, 111 minutes, French with English Subtitles, Toronto, Cinéfranco 2015 Festival, 18 April 2016, 5:00 pm, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema)