The coltish young girlfriend of a college boy takes a perverse shine to his charmingly thuggish drug dealer in Jacques Doillon’s “Totally Flaky,” a mile-a-minute sampler of contempo speech patterns and slang uttered by three energetic leads. As hermetic exercises go, this chipper, rather than sleazy, pic — lensed largely in a hotel suite by night — is a bang-up job. But while crix may enjoy the impressively fluid lensing and acting, it’s difficult to imagine many customers paying for these much-ado-about-nothing shenanigans. Given director’s name, fests may bite.
Francois (Camille Clavel), the b.f. of Fred (Lou Doillon, helmer’s daughter by Jane Birkin), owes money to Alex (live-wire newcomer Guillaume Saurrel). When Alex gives Francois a beating, Fred unaccountably falls for him. Both parties are out of their league as Fred encourages Alex to pick up mopey Sylvia (Caroline Ducey, from “Romance”) in a club. The three repair to a pricey hotel suite where the talk never stops as Fred perversely tries to throw Alex and Sylvia together, with mixed results.
The idea is to update the so-called “marivaudage” (slyly crafted theatrical banter and intricate machinations) of Marivaux’s plays to the rat-a-tat-tat slang and lazy courtship rituals of today’s youth. But in a world in which women can fend for themselves and only feelings — rather than eternal societal reprobation — are at stake, this bouncy experiment falls flat.