Sunday, 24 January 2010


Je T'aime began life as an orgasmic piece of heavy breathing set to music by Serge Gainsbourg with Brigitte Bardot in 1968. Only Bardot didn't want the recording to be released, so Gainsbourg did it all over again the following year with British actress Jane Birkin. The BBC banned the record from both radio and tv which ensured that the record would make No 1 in the charts.
In 1976 Serge Gainsbourg wrote, directed and composed the music for a film version using the same title.
Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus stars Jane Birkin as Johnny, a truck stop waitress who's boss Boris is a bit of a slacker leaving Johnny to run the place single handed. Not a hard chore as hardly anyone stops by.
Except that is for Krassy (Joe Dallesandro) and his co-worker, Padovan (Hugues Quester). They are refuse collectors who Boris immediately tags as gays.
Despite that it doesn't stop Krassy from fancying Johnny who he sees for the first time from behind. With her short hair and boyish figure he takes Johnny to be a bloke. Krassy, on the other hand, is fit and Johnny fancies him despite all he warnings.
Obviously Padovan, who carries a plastic bag around like a kid with a security blanket,gets a fit of the jealousies. He does try to get it together with the local gay 'peasant' - a brief appearance by Gerard Depardieu - but it's a no go which doesn't help.
Meanwhile back at the truckstop Krassy and Johnny are getting it together except that Krassy can't because Johnny's a girl. So she tells him 'I'm a boy' which is a bit daft as from this point on Krassy becomes a pain in the backside.
Maybe there is a point here but it was lost on me. OK opposites attract etc and outside of the sex scenes there is an intensity to the relationship but not enough to hold it together.
As the relationship grows so Padovan finally flips and finds a use for his 'security blanket'. This leaves Johnny naked and vulnerable while Krassy and Padovan walk off hand in hand into the sunset.
So was it worth the rental?
On a curiosity value, I suppose so, after all I only picked it up because of the original song. The film score was a bit Deep South, America and didn't seem to fit. And the use of the orchestral part of 'Je T'Aime' countered the original - maybe, it was meant to. The storyline was padded out with too many long shots and scenic panning that made the 84 minute run time feel like a couple of hours.
Maybe, it is a cult movie or belongs to the Art House crowd who can see something that I couldn't. But the movie is not bad but, then, it's not good either.