Wednesday, February 15, 2006

8 Femmes

I love this movie. It’s a cross between a British stage mystery and a hollywood musical but told with typical French insouciance. I almost lost a friend over it though because this movie touches on a lot of sensitive topics but only to make fun of them or dismiss them casually. She thought it was offensive. I thought it was funny because, well, there are plenty of serious thought-provoking movies on all those subjects. This isn’t one of them. What it is is a somewhat oddball movie with a fabulous cast, great 50’s style decor & costumes and subtle but hilarious dialog...

Gaby - I will have to tell the police you often go out at night, and everyone knows it.
Louise - I will have to tell the police you often go out at night, and no one knows it.
Gaby - If your conscience is clear...
Augustine - Is yours?
Gaby - Clearer than yours.
Augustine - Admit it, you hate me, don’t you?
Gaby - No, I am indifferent to you.
Augustine runs off crying. Mamy, who up until then had been wheelchair bound because her legs are paralyzed, gets up and starts to follow Augustine to console her.
Gaby - But mother your legs!!
Mamy - Oh, I feel better. Must be the snow or a Christmas miracle.
Mamy - Someone snuck into my room and robbed me. Someone who knew my hiding place.
Suzon - Under your pillow?
Mamy - How did you know?
Suzon - Mamy, everyone knows.
Mamy - Everyone? What a bunch of thieves. Stop, thief! Murder!
Gaby - Someone sabotaged the car.
Louise - I wonder who.
Gaby - What does that mean?
Louise - Nothing madame, just wondering.
Mamy - You belong to a book club? I thought you hated to read?
Pierrette - Oh, pardon me. Perhaps I said something I shouldn’t have.
Augustine - Not at all, not at all! It’s true I joined but I never take books out.
Pierrette - Oh, really? The chatty secretary of the book club said you check out at least 5 romance novels a week.
Pierrette - As you ladies want the whole truth, I'd like to add a tidbit of information you lack.
Gaby - What is it this time?
Pierrette - Marcel and your new maid, Louise, have known each other for five years.
Gaby - What?
Pierrette - Five years of rented rooms and secret weekends. This winter you needed a maid, so Louise got hired.
Pierrette [leaning in towards Gaby] - It's called "in-home service."
Gaby - But you are so common.
Louise - Maybe Monsieur had tired of remarkable women.
Catherine - Suzon, I forgot one thing. I heard a strange sound. I looked through Augustine's keyhole, and I saw her standing at the mirror with something shiny. I thought nothing of it, but now I'm sure she was sharpening a knife!
Augustine - You liar! I was holding my mother-of-pearl comb and cleaning it.
Gaby - At 4:00 am?
Augustine - Combs never sleep!
Louise - She [pointing to Pierrette] asked me to keep quiet and gave me 10,000 francs.
Pierrette - Which I regret, you hussy.
Louise - What?
Pierrette - Everyone knows you sleep around.
Louise - You should know, since we sleep with the same ones. Let me explain the bribe. I overheard you say to Monsieur, "Give me the money or you'll die."
Pierrette - No I said, "I'll die."
Louise - No, "You'll die."
Pierrette - My poor Louise! Your word is no good, you're just a maid.
Louise - Nor is yours. You're just a whore.
Pierrette - Which I prefer.
Suzon - Mom?
Gaby - What is it? Another shocking revelation?
Suzon - No, I have told you everything.
Gaby - Tramp. You’re nothing but a tramp.
Pierrette [coming out from behind the curtain] - These things happen.
Gaby - On your side of the tracks! We get married first.
Pierrette - The tracks are gone. It’s called progress.
Suzon - Mom said dad wasn’t my real father.
Catherine - It’s not true!
Suzon - Anyway, it’s a good thing he isn’t.
Catherine - How can you say that?
Suzon - You know the bun in my oven? Marcel put it there.

(They make absolutely no mention of this for the rest of the movie and Catherine later goes on a rant about how everyone takes advantage of her poor papa. This was when my friend turned to me and demanded to know, "how is this a funny movie?" I tried to explain to her, it's like feminism. It was never about the men.)
Augustine - You’re understandably upset over what Gaby said.
Mamy - What did Gaby say?
Augustine - She accused you of killing father.
Mamy starts to laugh.
Augustine - What is so funny? It’s a monstrous lie...
Mamy [still laughing her head off] - It’s not a monstrous lie, my dear. It’s the truth.
Mamy - You have to understand, there are different kinds of women.
Pierrette - You have a lover.
Gaby - A lover? Is that your latest scoop?
Pierrette - No, my first.
Gaby and Pierrette wrestle a gun and somehow end up on the floor in a passionate kiss. Suzon, Augustine, Louise and Catherine burst in upon them just at this time.
Suson - Mother, what are you doing?!
Gaby [peeling herself off Pierrette and starting to get up] - Nothing. Just chatting with Pierrette.
Pierrette - It’s not what you think.
Augustine - We don’t need to think. We can see.

I told my friend it’s farcical but it’s a celebration of woman in all her forms. She didn’t see it that way.


Blogger beefdrop said...

Thats funny. My wife's cousin's wife was so against homosexuality, with her religious views etc. But then her sister introduced her to one of her friends who was gay, and a really handsome flamboyant guy too. Next thing we new, gay guy is getting invited over to her house to visit, and meeting her and her husband out for drinks at the martini bar. Then she began to talk about going dyke with other hot women, as she is hot. But recently they all moved to Ireland. I wonder if shes still as interested in the whole gay thing?

I used to be hardsore homophobic, due to my upbringing. But then I had a girlfriend who had lots of gay friends, and she helped me to understand that its no big deal. Then while in college, I met a lady who was a bit older, and homosexuality came up in conversation one time. And she mentioned her brother was gay, but that she didn't believe it was a natural state, and went on to explain how corrupt and manipulating he was, etc. I told her that that had nothing to do with being gay, but she didn't care what I thought, as she 'knew'. I guess everyone 'knows' their own views on the subject. I've had gay moments all through my life, not any acts of homosexuality (that I want to share), but at one point my wife asked me if I was a bit gay. I responded "I'm about half a fag." The reason being is that I sometimes would like to wear a dress, or wigs, and occasionally makeup, just for fun of course, and never in public, except...

2/15/2006 5:46 PM  

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