It means “The Boredom” (as the does book, “La Noia,” from which this is based), but for some reason the distributors have tried to chase away any fears that such an unappetizing title might suggest, by claiming that it means “The Nude.”Boredom is a fitting title since that’s what ensues in the viewing, a schizophrenic and maddening peek into the life of a professor (Charles Berling) who has an affair with a much younger, and much fatter girl (the corpulent Sophie Guillemin, perpetually dressed in a Charlie Brown-like striped t-shirt), first out of the physicality and concupiscence, and then out of an intangible obsession and jealousy of her. L’ennui is a philosophical examination of sex — its demands, its quirks, its enigmas — and never does the analysis/inquiry entice, allure or welcome a response or reaction physically or mentally. Cédric Kahn’s dull and flaccid query does little to warm anyone’s blood temperature, let alone boil it, if only chilled more by the choice to either over-light or under-light the banal settings. The philosophical questions that the professor floods the girl with are equally if not more vexing to the bored-as-stone audience (hardly able to read the miniscule subtitles anyway, almost serving as a benison, but not enough in the end to have prompted one to the best choice, which is to walk out) whose patience is either very high or masochistic to be able to endure the circumstances. The obsession, the inquisitiveness, the nosiness, it can add up to one or both of the following: ignorance and ennui.
With Arielle Dombasle and Robert Kramer. Adapted from Alberto Moravia’s novel by Kahn and Laurence F. Barbosa.[Not to be bothered with.]