Bye Bye Blondie
One of the most obnoxious movies of the year, Virginie Despentes’ ("Baise Moi") new film "Bye Bye Blondie" is a loud, angry movie about young punk lesbians who meet up in their late forties and attempt to recapture the romance they had in their youth.
Telling a story using sporadic flashbacks, we open with Gloria (Beatrice Dalle "Betty Blue") leaving her boyfriend. She seeks refuge with her artist friends who all sit around a loft all day smoking and drinking and "making art." They all await the arrival of Frances (Emmanuelle Beart) a popular TV host who Gloria says she knew when she was young. And when she does arrive, Gloria immediately shoves her and walks away to smoke. Frances goes to her and - smoking - they attempt to rekindle the fire from so many years before. Soon enough they are having sex in Frances’ hotel room and she has asked Gloria to move into her Paris apartment that she shares with her older husband - a closeted writer with a much younger boyfriend.
We jump back twenty-five years or so to see that Gloria is a bit of a problem child. Due to her constant temper tantrums she is thrown in a mental hospital where she meets Frances who is there because of a bout with amnesia. The two fall in love, have sex, and - once they are both released - find each other again and start up their affair. Eventually, this affair fails because of Frances’ snooty upbringing and she ends up leaving Gloria. Gloria, of course, throws a temper tantrum. She does this a lot. A Lot.
Back in present day Paris, Gloria and Frances are having problems. In fact, the two have had problems from the start. The only time they don’t have problems is when they are having sex. So clearly, this isn’t a match. But Despentes seems to thing there is romance there and the whole thing ends up on a ridiculously unrealistic note. Before that eye-rolling ending, there are more tantrums, relentless smoking (I felt sick after 30 minutes), fighting (physical and verbal) and just general unpleasantness. Neither character (as young people or older) is sympathetic at all. Gloria is a brat who needs to grow up, and Frances is cold and selfish.
Honestly I didn’t care what happened to these two. If they had been hit by a car, I might have thought it was a profound movie. But that was probably wishful thinking. The script was a mish-mash of ideas, the characters were awful people, and as a result, normally impressive actors just seem phenomenally annoying.
Do yourself a favor, say "bye bye" to Blondie and her gap-toothed friend. Unless you enjoy hanging out with those girls at a bar who fight and make up and fight and make up about fifteen times in one night. Blech.
This article is part of our "Philadelphia Qfest 2013" series. Want to read more?
Here's the full list»