Mes nuits sont plus belles que vos jours  (1989) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This film is also known as "My Nights Are More Beautiful Than Your Days."

The film begins with a man receiving a diagnosis from his doctor. Lucas is a genius who has invented a completely new computer language. Unfortunately, he also has a disease something like Alzheimer's, which causes his memory to erode. The supreme irony is that a man who invented a language is losing his ability to communicate by language.

Shortly after his diagnosis, he meets an emotionally unstable woman who works as a nightclub medium. They are attracted to one another, so he follows her to a seaside resort where they spend time together. As they fall deeper in love, Lucas also falls deeper into a haze, where is is befuddled by the world, by his own inability to communicate, and by the mysteries of his language, which he babbles like a child who is  discovering wordplay and word relationships for the first time.

Stir in some of the obligatory elements of modern European art films: deserted seaside resorts, a dwarf wearing the official "call for Phillip Morris" outfit, people wearing top hats for no reason, open windows framed by curtains blown dramatically by powerful ocean breezes, long philosophical monologues, a nymphomaniacal mother, gratuitous naked lesbians, a homosexual husband, tragic flashbacks to family tragedies, and various colorful cokeheads screaming at one another.

Have you guessed that it's an art film?

An art film taken from a best selling romance novel!

The novel by RaphaŽle Billetdoux is about a couple who meet by chance in a seaside hotel and spend three nights together. I imagine the book's readers would have been thoroughly confused that this surrealistic tragedy has the same name as their beloved book. In fact, the novelist had the same fear, and insisted that her name be expunged from the credits because the film had so little to do with her novel other than a few basic ideas and the names of the characters.

I think that the basic idea was outstanding, and could have made for a brilliant film if helmed by a controlled and subtle director. Since the male lead was losing his grasp of language and needed an anchor to hold on to, the script could have worked if it made me care about the main female character, and had drawn her as a normal person trying to cope with a surreal situation. Unfortunately, director Andrej Zulawski is one of those guys who goes over-the-top with symbolism and surrealism, so most of the film's potential gets drowned in a sea of pretentiousness and BoHo excess. He made the woman seem to have less grasp of reality than the guy! She seemed to be a deeply disturbed person, possibly even clinically insane, so she was constantly weeping and muttering away about various crazy ideas while the guy was babbling and linking words in free association. Meanwhile, many of the minor background characters were engaged in various loud, abnormal and drug-addled excesses of their own. With no anchor in reality, the film's atmosphere often degenerates into something resembling a carnival fun house, and sets up an insurmountable barrier between the audience and the characters.

Too bad. The premise had potential, but "Mes Nuits" ended up nothing more than a turtleneck film

 

DVD INFO

  • Widescreen, anamorphic (16x9)
  • small picture gallery
  • in French only (optional English subtitles)
  • overpriced

 

NUDITY REPORT

  • Sophie Marceau - all, repeatedly

  • There is much miscellaneous females nudity - including lots of full frontals in good light.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No reviews online

The People Vote ...

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, it's a C-. It exists only for the turtleneck crowd.

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