Thursday, April 01, 2010


Four middle-aged men arrange some time away from their jobs and families to have a "gastronomical seminar" (one of the four is a famous chef) which actually amounts to an orgy of eating. Somewhere along the way, one of the men hires a few whores, since just the food isn’t enough for a real orgy. When a schoolteacher happens onto the property, a big house in a Paris suburb, she gets invited to join in. Soon it becomes obvious that the men intend to eat themselves to death, which they do. The women, being smarter, do not. That's about it. When this came out, it was rated X and caused an art-house sensation. Though the current disc bears an NC-17 rating, I think if it were re-rated today, it would be an R. There is nudity and some simulated sex, but most of the "rough stuff" here is scatological; lots of farting, a little vomiting, and an exploding toilet that sends a fountain of shit cascading through the house. The gorging scenes do tend to put the viewer off his feed, though nothing in the movie made me want to give up big meals or desserts. Most critics mention that the four men go away with the intention of committing suicide via gluttony, but if it's ever explicitly stated in the dialogue, I never caught it—though it's possible I missed something as the 2-hour movie is slow and I found my attention wandering at times (frankly, a little more sex might have kept me interested). The men are played by major European stars, such as Marcello Mastroianni and Ugo Tognazzi (the gay father in the original LA CAGE AUX FOLLES), but let's just say their acting chops aren't exactly tested here. [DVD]

No comments: