THE TASTE OF OTHERS
Release Date: September 15, 2000
Starring: Anne Alvaro, Jean-Pierre
Bacri, Agnes Jaoui, Gerard
Lanvin, Alain Chabat, &
Rating: Not Rated
Runtime: 112 minutes
Distributor: Miramax Films/Disney
Director: Agnes Jaoui
Producer: Charles Gassot
Writer: Jean-Pierre Bacri & Agnes
Address Comments To:Bob & Harvey Weinstein
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In the story, a stuffy businessman named Castella needs to take English lessons for a business deal with some Iranians (the reason is not explained). A 40-year-old woman gives him his first lesson, but the two don’t hit it off at all. When Castella’s controlling wife, Angelique, drags him to his niece’s play, he discovers that Clara plays the lead. Clara’s performance moves him deeply. He falls in love. Clara, however, is an actress with artistic sensibilities and artistic friends, and she can’t seem to reconcile Castella with her world.
Meanwhile, Castella’s bodyguard, Frank, falls in love with Manie, a friend of Clara’s who works part-time as a barmaid while selling illegal hashish on the side. Like Castella and Clara’s relationship, the relationship between Frank and Manie seems a mismatch. In the end, Clara discovers that opposites can go together very well, if both people let love blossom. This is a lesson that neither Frank nor Castella’s wife, who cares more for her dog than her husband, learn during the course of this low-key drama. It is also a lesson that plays a role in the non-romantic relationships in the movie.
Unlike most American movies, conversation and character are often what drive French movies, especially modern dramas like THE TASTE OF OTHERS. This movie has plenty of subtle characterization, fine realistic acting and even a touch of wry humor as its romantic entanglements play out during the movie’s running time. The climax is quite an emotional one, in its own quiet way.
Nevertheless, THE TASTE OF OTHERS includes implied fornication and validates premarital sex among adults. Furthermore, although there is no sexual liaison depicted between the married Castella and Clara, their feelings are immoral because they involve adultery. Of course, by the time Clara decides that she really does like Castella, he has left his wife. His reason for leaving seems to be her continued total neglect of his emotional needs and her obsession with running their household as her own personal fiefdom rather than theirs together. This is a marital situation that requires counseling, not separation, and certainly not adultery.
THE TASTE OF OTHERS also contains a minor subplot involving two of Clara’s artistic homosexual friends. It is slightly politically correct, but not overbearing as in many American movies these days. There are also some strong obscenities and profanities in the movie.
THE TASTE OF OTHERS has plenty of subtle characterization, fine realistic acting and even a touch of wry humor as its romantic entanglements play out during the movie’s running time. The climax is quite an emotional one, in its own quiet way. Nevertheless, besides Castella’s adulterous feelings, THE TASTE OF OTHERS includes a major subplot involving fornication between two other characters and a minor one involving a homosexual artist who sells his work to Castella. There are also some strong obscenities and profanities in the movie