Post coitum animal tristeReviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 10/30/02 14:51:18
What starts out as a sexy little story about a middle-aged female publisher having an affair with a decidedly younger man rapidly turns into a good hour of said female blubbering and wailing when said younger man decides he needs to be humping someone who doesn’t sag as much. In the early stages of this film, you’re entranced at how well the romance is woven. There’s animal magnetism and sex all over the screen, but when toy-boy decides its time to move on… well, let’s just say thank god for the fast forward button! The film’s title translates to After Sex, Sad Animal, and if nothing else it’s way too bloody accurate.Post Coitum Animal Triste suffers from one major problem, which adds fuel to any smaller problems the film endures. That is it’s co-written by, directed by and stars Brigitte Rouan. That in itself isn’t a disaster, but Rouan must have considered that being given plenty of time to stress out and weep on screen would see her thrown multiple awards, as by the time we hit the one hour mark, she’s seldom seen with a smile. In fact, she pretty much sinks into a fit of hysterics that drags like a worm-riddled puppy. Rouan’s long periods of throwing things around, yelling, sulking and being depressed are about as compelling as watching toe fungus change color.
Sure, there are many fun and funny scenes, many more that are poignant, but they all happen in the first hour. On the other hand, the final hour of this film makes the experience like having watched an infant build a huge tower of building blocks all morning, only to see them walk through it and then jump up and down on the fallen blocks for the rest of the day. Alright already, you’re sad, you’re angry, get the hell over it!
Co-star Boris Terral shows about as much interest in the film once this change takes place as the audience is likely to, turning in a performance that at first sears with sexuality, and then borders on narcoleptic. Though thinking about it now, perhaps Terral’s third act lethargy is a good thing, being that it offers a good counterbalance to Rouan’s hysterical wailing and hand-wringing.
Rouan made and starred in a far better film five years prior to this – Overseas – which featured much nudity and in which she shared the limelight with two other actresses. In Post Coitum Animal Triste she has nowhere to hide and seemingly no intention of doing so. While she’s certainly held her age well, the copious nudity is barely enough to keep an audience from slitting its wrists, and when the whole thing is over you’re unlikely to have experienced anything even close to a revelation.In the end, if I were to rate the two halves of this movie I’d give the first half four stars and the second barely one. Oh yes, I understood it, I just didn’t need to understand it over and over and over and over again.
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