Review: ‘Confessions of a Pick-Up Artist’

A shy, provincial preppie freshly arrived in Paris gets a crash course in accosting women in "Confessions of a Pick-Up Artist." Spectacularly crass -- but amusing if you're in the mood for unapologetic sexism writ VERY large -- this lowbudget two-hander is certainly true to its title, with some confessions entertaining and others outright disgusting.

A shy, provincial preppie freshly arrived in Paris gets a crash course in accosting women in “Confessions of a Pick-Up Artist.” Spectacularly crass — but amusing if you’re in the mood for unapologetic sexism writ VERY large — this lowbudget two-hander is certainly true to its title, with some confessions entertaining and others outright disgusting.

Voiceover-heavy venture starts with 19-year-old Paul (Thomas Dutronc), a good boy from a good family, watching a French-born Arab, Fabio (Said Taghmaoui), seduce with minimal effort a young woman Paul has been contemplating for a week. Befriending the cute-but-clueless Paul, the garrulous Fabio gives him daily tutorials on where to find chicks and how to convince them to put out. After two months, Paul has radically altered his view of the opposite sex and been suckered into petty and not-so-petty larceny. Taghmaoui (“La haine,” “Hideous Kinky”) seems uncomfortable as the two-bit Don Juan, and Dutronc (son of singer-thesp Jacques Dutronc and ’60s chanteuse Francoise Hardy) is disconcertingly nebulous. Adapting his laid-back primer on getting laid, helmer Alain Soral opts for perfunctory visuals that incorporate lots of Paris for an ultra-French look.

Confessions of a Pick-Up Artist

France

Production

A Rezo Films release of a Flach Film/France 2 Cinema production, with participation of Canal Plus. (International sales: Flach Pyramide Intl., Paris.) Produced by Jean-Francois Lepetit. Directed, written by Alain Soral, based on his book "Sociologie du dragueur."

Crew

Camera (color), Jean-Louis Bompoint; editor, Kako Kelber; music, Patrick Coutin; production designer, Denis Mercier; costume designer, Martine Bourgeon. Reviewed at UGC Orient Express, Paris, July 30, 2001. Running time: 87 MIN.

With

Said Taghmaoui, Thomas Dutronc.
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