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Leave Your Hands on My Hips

Director: Chantal Lauby

FRANCE| 2003. ENGLISH SUBTITLES. COLOUR. ANAMORPHIC. DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO. 108 MINUTES.


An off-kilter romance made even less predictable by wide swathes of silliness and derision, Leave Your Hands on My Hips (the title is taken from a catchy French pop hit of the 1960s) is an unclassifiable first film from comedienne Chantal Lauby. Blending gutter humour and visual sophistication, the film follows 42-year-old single mom and semi-famous Parisian actress Odile (Lauby), who experiences a spurt of adolescent energy after her grown daughter leaves home. When Odile, whose circle of friends seems evenly divided between gay men and colourful flakes of both sexes, meets Kader (Jean-Pierre Martins), a younger fellow who lives in a mobile home and runs a fairground attraction for a living, her long-dormant girlish hormones surface with a vengeance. The film’s goofy variation on the couple’s first kiss is a memorable bit of schtick.
Myriam Boyer and Bernard Menez score as the concierges who have plenty of misleading anecdotal evidence for assuming Odile leads an utterly debauched rather than merely bohemian lifestyle. Alain Chabat is funny as the director of Odile’s latest stage performance and Jean-Hughes Anglade (Betty Blue) is in top form as her leading man. A musician who has never before acted, Martins is a natural and highly appealing.

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