J’Embrasse Pas (1991)

Rating: D-

Dir: André Téchiné
Star: Manuel Blanc, Philippe Noiret, Emmanuelle Beart, Hélène Vincent

[12] Not many French actresses get two films to open in London in one week, but Emmanuelle had La Belle Noiseuse (four hours long, bearable only to serious film theorists – or those who like Ms.Beart with her kit off) and this one which, like Noce Blanche, had a totally misleading advertising campaign (see the poster, right). The title does not apply to her but the rent boy she befriends – in the first 80 minutes of the film, EB is on screen for about two of them. More truthfully, it’s about a bloke who comes to the city; gets a job; sleeps with his landlady; loses both and is forced into prostitution to survive; then finds the life not that awful. His attempt at a relationship with EB doesn’t go too well – her pimp beats him up and rapes him. There’s a moral in there somewhere (“Emmanuelle really screws you up”?), but I’m not sure I like it. Not badly-made, and utterly cheerless. I’m still docking it marks for being a con!