Confusion of Genders (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

I guess Confusion of Genders can't be appreciated properly by anyone but a French speaker.

For one thing, it was marketed as a comedy, but for my money it has about as many laughs as 21 Grams. In a bizarro world where this is comedy, Mystic River is Duck Soup and The House of Sand and Fog is a Mel Brooks movie.

Obviously, then, the alleged humor must derive from something unique to the French culture, characters, or language. To my eyes, it seems to be a self-absorbed, talky, tragic film about perpetually unhappy, generally creepy people who want what they can't have, and make all the wrong decisions because they seem to have no other choice, or are unable to muster the will to make a better choice. Perhaps in the Gallic world-view, the inherent tragedy of life is, ipso facto, a real knee-slapper.

A bi-sexual man has "test sex" with his female law partner, and she gets pregnant, so they marry. Meanwhile, he is fucking a teenage boy and the girlfriend of a client he defended incompetently into life imprisonment. "The bad news: you'll never leave prison. The good news: your girlfriend won't be lonely". None of these relationships leaves him happy in any way. The sex is always lifeless and, well, unsexy.

I guess that is supposed to be funny.

The characters are unsympathetic and sometimes just plain nasty. The bisexual guy is middle aged, homely, self-absorbed, stupid (he is portrayed as being completely incompetent as a lawyer), never smiles, and is completely lacking in warmth. In short, he has all the looks and charm of Dr. Kervorkian.

Needless to say, everyone he meets wants him for a lover, including beautiful young people of both sexes.

I guess that fact is supposed to be funny as well.

This character is about as appealing as the Fiennes character in Schindler's List. Oh, I guess if I'm being honest he may be slightly more appealing than the guy in Schindler's list, but that is cancelled out by the fact that Schindler's List was a lot funnier than this movie.


  • Julie Gayet - full frontal
  • Nathalie Richard - full frontal
  • Chloe Mons- full frontal
  • Marie Saint-Dizier - breasts
  • Pascal Gregory - all

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic, 16:9. Beautiful transfer of the film, which was shot in a subtle, muted palette.

In the end, after betraying everyone and letting everyone down, Mr Bisexual hits on the (male) nurse after his wife gives birth. End of film.

Whoa! That is some more wacky-ass shit!

Just goes to show that the line between comedy and tragedy is a thin one

Especially in France.

The Critics Vote ...

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 7.4/10. This is mystifying, considering the fact that the highest critical score at MRQE is 2.5/5, and the box office was non-existent. I guess the IMDb scores are from Frenchmen.
  • It maxxed out at three screens in the USA, grossing $49,000 over 12 weeks, on an average of 1.7 screens in the entire United States.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C-. Skip it unless you speak French and are interested in the sexual politics of French culture. Otherwise it is an unpleasant experience, and you will never guess it was supposed to be a comedy. I just couldn't find any hook to get me involved in the goings-on here. There is substantial nudity, but it is cold and lifeless. The photography is quite beautiful, but I just didn't get it at all.

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