Review: ‘That’s Just Like You’

A lightly comic relationer set among the denizens of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Claire Simon's "That's Just Like You" sounds like a guaranteed turn-off but emerges as an often funny, docudrama-like movie with some fresh flourishes. Though overlong by about 15 minutes, it's a good bet for Euro TV play.

A lightly comic relationer set among the denizens of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Claire Simon’s “That’s Just Like You” sounds like a guaranteed turn-off but emerges as an often funny, docudrama-like movie with some fresh flourishes. Though overlong by about 15 minutes, it’s a good bet for Euro TV play.

Pic is the fourth in a series featuring student actors from Theatre National de Strasbourg, and Simon’s conceit — which plays less pretentiously than it sounds — is to use multiple players for the two leads. Five actresses swap the part, often in the same take, of Cleo, an assistant in the parliament’s AV department, who’s pursued by her former b.f., Antoine (six actors), for a second chance when he comes looking for an internship. Idea of multiple identity and sexual game-playing chimes well with the parliament’s setup, in which, as one real-life member explains, everyone has to juggle their local, national and European identities when doing their job. Young thesps are lively in a very Gallic way, and Jean-Henri Roger is excellent as Cleo’s pragmatic boss, who’s seen every political maneuver before. Latino-flavored jazz piano score adds bounce.

That's Just Like You

France

Production

An Agata Films & Cie./La Sept Arte/Le Theatre National de Strasbourg production. (International sales: Agat, Paris.) Produced by Gilles Sandoz. Directed by Claire Simon. Screenplay, Jean-Francois Goyet, Simon.

Crew

Camera (color), Katell Djian; editor, Catherine Zins; music, Jesus "Chucho" Valdes; costumes, Monic Parelle. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (Cineastes du Present), Aug. 4, 2000. Running time: 122 MIN.

With

Stephanie Pasquet, Sophie Rodrigues, Marie Eleonore Pourtois, Claire Delaporte, Marika Peyronne, Alexandre Zloto, Ismael Ruggiero, Sebastien Bravard, Olivier Constant, Thomas Nedelkovitch, Yann Policar, Jean-Henri Roger, Manon Garcia, Claude Michel, Pierre Berriau, Aline Pailler, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Luciana Castellina, Catherine Lalumiere, Jean-Louis Bourlanges, Brian Crowley, Marie-Noelle Liennemann.
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