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My Worst Nightmare 2012

NR CC

She lives with her son and her husband in a well-to-do apartment opposite the chic Luxembourg gardens... He lives alone with his son in the back of a van. She is the director of a prestigious contemporary art foundation... They are poles apart... and can't stand the sight of one another. Besides, they should never have met, but their children are inseparable... In the end, they'll eventually come to understand why...

Starring:
Isabelle Huppert, Benoît Poelvoorde
Runtime:
1 hour, 39 minutes

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By Steve Ramm TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 25, 2013
Format: DVD
For the first 15 minutes of so of watching this new French film, starring the incomparable actress Isabelle Huppert I was wondering what I was getting into. The frenetic pacing and the obnoxious character played by actor Benoit Poelvoorde was making me nuts and I was ready to quit. But then things changed and, all of a sudden, I was drawn in and really cared for the characters. And, if you like offbeat French comedies - or independent films (both are the type coming from Strand Releasing) I think you'll like this one two. Huppert is not known for comedy but she has fun here. The story is basically how two individuals who have virtually nothing in common (he's a loud mouth slob; she an art dealer who is "cold as ice") find something in common. I won't reveal more of the plot - and I hope other reviewers refrain from this too - as it will spoil the fun.

The 100 minute 2011 film is the kind that the French do best. It's in French of course and the subtitles - while in white - are still pretty easy to read. The dialogue, especially in that first 15 minutes, is hectic so you may need the pause button here. But generally you should have no problem.

The DVD contains the original theatrical trailer - which, oddly enough, has subtitles twice the size of those in the film - and other Strand trailers. That's it for bonuses.
The supporting actors are also wonderful and I liked how the story took directions you don't expect.
Another small "gem" that I'm glad I discovered - and didn't give up on. Consider those 15 minutes a "set up" and then enjoy the ride.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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Format: DVD
The great Isabelle Huppert must surely be one of the boldest, most fearless actors at work today. But I must confess, her films are becoming increasingly hit-or-miss in my mind. Even in her most uninspired pieces, though, I usually find Huppert absolutely fascinating. I think that this was, perhaps, my greatest disappointment with the farce "My Worst Nightmare." It is not a bad movie, per se, it just lacks any amount of originality. And instead of offering anything new, Huppert serves up a character that she could play in her sleep! This is a quintessential opposites-attract type comedy that pairs an uptight businesswoman (Huppert) with a irrepressible and irresponsible lothario (Benoit Poelvoorde). Can his impulsiveness thaw her icy demeanor? And can her seriousness make him a better man? I bet you might already know the answer to these questions! More to the point is whether you will care or not.

As "My Worst Nightmare" opens, Huppert is paired with Andre Dussolier (actually my favorite character). Their child is in school with Poelvoorde's son, and the two boys form a fast friendship. This is especially useful as Social Services is threatening Poelevoorde and his wayward nature. So he lets the boy establish a bond with the more affluent and stable family. Of course, he and Huppert are complete antagonists, but Dussolier is enamored of the man's free spirit. Before you know it, the impact of this new relationship realigns everything in the picture. And where the movie starts out as an over-the-top romp, it morphs into something slightly more effective as these changes come into being. The beginning of "My Worst Nightmare" is so overdone with clownish characterizations, this shift is all the more welcome.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I could not even finish watching it. from the beginning it was sooo lame. I got it bc i was attracted to the story line. regarding my subject heading--i am pretty good (semi-fluent) in French, so the primary language of the movie did not bother me. It was the plot not even taking off, the lack of interaction with the characters... and so much more!!
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It was good. I don't speak french and I purchased it to help me learn french. The plot was expected, and the outcome was too. Now I can't really commit on the dialog because of my deficiency in the French language but I enjoyed the movie.
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fun at times, the story goes fast paced at others, some situations appear and disappear without much following or explanations. Everthing seems too simple without much consequences.
It's basically a light comedy.The characters lack a little more humanity, they all seem detached and absorbed in their own lives without much concern about the others.
But still, I enjoy it. The acting is good and the photography too.
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The basic set-up is standard Hollywood "boy meets girl, girl hates boy, boy and girl live happily ever after". But of course, this isn't Hollywood and the movie winds up covering ground well beyond the standard rom-com tropes.

I'm no expert on French cinema, but I've noticed in this and some other French films I've seen recently that they have this odd (to me) two-part structure. In one other I saw, the first half was primarily dramatic, but the second half took a decidedly surreallist turn. In "My Worst Nightmare" it's nothing so bizarre but still...the first half works quite well as a simple comedy, while the second half dives deep into the personalities, relationships, and personal challenges. Not that all those themes don't run throughout the movie, but there seem to be definite differences in prevalence between the first and second halves.

Or, maybe, I'm just not adept at watching French films and it takes me half the movie for my brain to catch up and really understand what's going on. Either way, I think it's great. :)

Anyway, throughout the movie there are plenty of easy, uncontrived laughs, and yet it's telling a very real story of imperfect people and their struggles: with each other, with themselves, and society in general. These are characters you can care about (though frankly the kids get pretty short shrift), especially in the way they are honest with themselves and mature (well, mostly...when they're sober) in their handling of issues between each other.

An American film telling the same story would probably at a minimum have all of the characters yelling at each other all the time, talking right past each other or, worse, getting into physical fights. Those films are mostly illustrations of how _not_ to live your life.
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