JEANNE AND THE PERFECT GUY
Release Date: April 16, 1999
Starring: Virginie Ledoyen, Mathieu
Demy, Valerie Bonneton,
Jacques Bonnaffe, Frederic
Gorny, & Laurent Arcaro
Runtime: 98 minutes
Distributor: Strand Releasing
Director: Olivier Ducastel & Jacques
Producer: Cyriac Auriol & Pauline
Writer: Olivier Ducastel & Jacques
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Jeanne, the title character, is a young woman whose favorite pastime is romance and fornication. She has many affairs with men, often at the same time. Her current paramours are two of her colleagues at Jet Tours, where she works as a receptionist: Jean-Baptiste, a handsome but conceited executive, and the sexy in-house messenger boy. Her concerned sister, Sophie, tries to convince Jeanne of the virtues of monogamy, but to no avail.
One day, Jeanne meets a small, dark, thin young man named Olivier. They secretly fornicate on the subway, then fornicate some more at Olivier's apartment. Later, while at a nightclub with Jean-Baptiste and his friends, Jeanne decides that she loves Olivier and can no longer stand Jean-Baptiste's shallow, "bourgeois" lifestyle. Then, however, Olivier tells her that he is HIV-positive, the virus that leads to AIDS, the deadly disease that affects homosexuals and drug addicts using needles tainted with the virus. Olivier says he got the virus because he used to inject drugs. No matter, the optimistic Jeanne tells him, he's the first man she ever truly loved, and she knows he'll get better.
Eventually, Jeanne declares her eternal love for him in the hospital, but Olivier doesn't tell her when he decides it's best to secretly go to his parent's home to die. Jeanne searches in vain for the parents' address. The movie ends on a sad note, but indicates that, sooner or later, Jeanne will pick herself up from this tragedy and start life anew.
Despite the somber events in its story, JEANNE AND THE PERFECT GUY celebrates the vitality of life in the midst of tragedy. When Olivier is with Jeanne, the music is joyful and nostalgic, though not really memorable. Such music underscores the couple's zest for life and intense passion. Even so, Jeanne and Olivier seem to lack substance. Neither one seems mature. Olivier in fact is nerdy, and Jeanne seems a brainless, flighty beauty. Romeo and Juliet, these people are not. Still, the movie manages to make the devastation that AIDS has brought strongly palpable.
The movie's romantic view of life and human nature is thus mixed with a politically correct attitude favoring the "Sexual Revolution" of the 1960s and a pro-homosexual agenda of the 1990s. Both derive from the Cultural Marxism advocated by the Frankfurt School, led by Communist psychologist Erich Fromm and Communist political philosopher Herbert Marcuse. Consequently, a major character in this movie is Francois, a homosexual friend of Jeanne and Olivier's who is an activist in the radical left-wing homosexual advocacy group, ACT UP. In France, of course, ACT UP is more mainstream.
In that light, it is important to note that, like the British homosexual movie GET REAL (MOVIEGUIDE®, June A 1999), which received funding partially from the British government, the French government helped subsidize JEANNE AND THE PERFECT GUY. Such subsidies are not only ultimately pro-Communist, they are also an attack on Christian civilization, as many cultural observers in America have noted in their fight to de-fund the socialist bureaucracy of the federal government. That probably is another reason why this movie includes some scenes of explicit sex and nudity. The filmmakers seem to validate Jeanne's sexual promiscuity, even when it seems to be a betrayal of her supposed love for Olivier.
Liberty is not licentiousness, however, and God's love does not delight in such evil, but rejoices in the truth of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. Only if we hold onto that truth, and the other truths in God's Holy Word, the Bible, can we perhaps stave off the Marxist onslaught that infects our world like an omnivorous disease destroying everyone and everything in its path.