Lisa Schwarzbaum
February 16, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

French Twist

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
104 minutes
performer
Victoria Abril, Alain Chabat
director
Josiane Balasko
author
Josiane Balasko

We gave it a B+

Josiane Balasko (Too Beautiful for You) wrote, directed, and stars in a French comedy about Laurent (Alain Chabat), a brash philanderer; Loli (Victoria Abril), his juicy peach of a wife; and Marijo (Balasko), the beefy, crop-haired lesbian stranger who wanders in to fix their sink, stays for dinner, and ends up changing their ménage big time. Laurent can’t figure out why happily heterosexual Loli falls for Marijo’s barrel-chested charms, but we can: She may be the butchest cookie this side of Go Fish, but she offers Loli attention, tenderness, and laughs, and she shakes up Laurent’s smug macho world but good. (Abril shoots off sparks of pleasure like a little rocket and walks around naked like she’s wearing the most chic fashion — which, of course, she is.) There are lumpy patches of sentiment thrown in, but otherwise this ’80s-style farce is funny, breezy, erotic, and so matter-of-fact about the infinite variety of human sexuality, it could only be baked in France. Heaven help the inevitable American adaptation of French Twist.

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