Pas Son Genre (Not My Type) – Lucas Belvaux

UnknownJudging by his portfolio of films to date, Belgian director Lucas Belvaux is more at home with edgy, tense thrillers than a love story between a Paris-based intellectual and a fizzy, blonde provincial hairdresser, but Pas Son Genre is not without its darker moments. Based on the novel by Philippe Vilain, Belvaux carefully dissects the chemistry between two people at opposite ends of the intellectual and social scale to demonstrate the unpredictable nature of love and sexual attraction. And asks in the end, does love conquer all?

La Comédie Français is currently providing a rich source of talented young actors transferring their talent from the stage to the big screen – Pierre Niney in Yves Saint Laurent, Guillaume Galllienne in Les Garcons et Guillaume á Table.  And now Loic Corbery as Clément, a philosophy teacher and writer who is forced to leave his beloved Paris to take up a teaching job in the northern provincial town of Arras. Time passes slowly for Clément and after a chance meeting with Jennifer (Emilie Dequenne), he decides to asks her out on a date.  Clément loves reading Kant, Jennifer reads gossip magazines, pouring over the lives of movies stars like Jennifer Aniston; Clément spends his time in Paris at the opera or the opening of trendy art galleries; Jennifer likes to sing karaoke with her gal pals in a local nightclub. Yet the two find themselves in a relationship which initially seems to work for both of them.

Fortunately, Belvaux avoids Jennifer’s classic Pygmalion-style transformation. She is no academic, but is far from stupid and when Clément tellingly gives her a copy of Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot as a gift she diligently reads it from cover to cover. She is not intimidated by his intellect merely indifferent to its purpose. The real obstacle to their happiness is Clément’s attitude to love itself and his academic’s reluctance to dirty his hands with anything as messy as emotions.  He views relationships with a clinical, cold detachment and it is this, rather than any intellectual or social inequality, that sounds the death knell for the relationship. Poking into the dark corners of relationships, Belvaux shows it’s not what we are, but who we are that determines our fate.
Corbery and Dequenne are faultless as  Clément and Jennifer. Dequenne in particular exudes a charming vulnerability and the scenes with Corbery towards the end of the film are immensley touching. If only Belvaux could have trimmed some of the overly long scenes in the nightclub and elsewhere, Pas Son Genre would be a real jewel of a film.

 

 

 

DIRECTOR’S BIO – LUCAS BELVAUXUnknown

 
 2014 Pas son genre 
 2012 38 témoins 
 2009 Rapt 
 2002 Après la vie 
 2002Cavale 
 1996Pour rire! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *