on 7 February 2003
This is an exceptionally fine work by Philippe Harel based upon Michel Houllebecq's novel.
It charts the lonelieness of a single man, an I.T. systems engineer, and finally into madness. The film is about the economic and sexual struggle that man faces today.
The film has plenty of original ideas; and perhaps that old cliche of learning to dance when you are lonely may just work on this journey. In response to a fellow reviewer who finds the novel better, I would contend that Harel/Houllebecq have achieved the finest possible result in this adaption.
on 23 February 2001
This film is nowhere near as good as the novel. The main problem is the casting, the 'hero' is flat, his attitude does not dominate the film and Tisserand is not as alkward and garish as he is in the book. Basically I felt that the brutal humour of the original did not really come across in the film, even though it is quite faithful literally. The main actor does not match the vision in the book, the guy is too old and too much of a dork. The tragedy of the book is that he was trapped in himself rather than his appearance. The principal character should have been a well dressed and cultivated individual,who is physically impressive in order to offset Tisserand's ugliness. As it is, Tisserand appears to be the better looking of the two and this seriously unbalances the film. Given the cast it would probably have been better if the adaptation from book to film had been less true to the source material eg in the style of american psycho. Although I was dissapointed in the film I can see that I would probably have been impressed with it if I was not aware of the book. The actors do a good job but they are unable to convey the embarssment and humilitaion which makes the book such sadistic treat. If you enjoyed the film then you will love the book. If you are looking for real male angst comedy, read the book.