Je ne suis pas un homme facile [I Am Not an Easy Man] (2018)

Je ne suis pas un homme facile
Director: Eléonore Pourriat
Writer: Ariane Fert, Eléonore Pourriat
Cast: Vincent Elbaz, Marie-Sophie Ferdane, Pierre Benezit, Blanche Gardin, Céline Menville, Christèle Tual, Rémi Gérard, Olivier Pajot
Seen on: 22.6.2019

Content Note: (critical treatment of) sexism, misogyny, rape culture

Damien (Vincent Elbaz) is a Casanova – sleeping with any woman he can sleep with, with little interest to get to know them beyond sex. And he probably would have continued that way if he hadn’t run into a street sign. When he wakes up, Damien finds himself in a world that is completely unlike the one he remembers. Here, women are the ones in charge and men are seen as the weaker sex. So it is that Alexandra (Marie-Sophie Ferdane) who Damien remembers to be his best friend and writer Christophe’s (Pierre Benezit) secretary is the famous author used to order men around. Nevertheless, she and Damien find a connection.

Je ne suis pas un homme facile openly tackles a feminist topic that will always get a film bonus points. It handles it pretty well and is entertaining while it’s at it, though I found the ending a tad disappointing.

The film poster showing Alexandra (Marie-Sophie Ferdane) and Damien (Vincent Elbaz) standing back to back.

You shouldn’t make the mistake to think that Je ne suis pas un homme facile is showing us an image of the world as it should be, or what a true matriarchy would look like. It is literally just a reversal of players while keeping the game the same. It’s still a patriarchal world, only that women are the patriarchs.

What this switch does is not so much imagine an alternative to the way things are right now, but instead it highlights all the things women have to put up with in a patriarchy by having them happen to men. Things that we think are completely normal and therefore have become invisible to us, suddenly become visible, giving us a chance to realize how fucked up things actually are.

Damien (Vincent Elbaz) out running in sweatpants with the word "HOT" on the ass.

And it also manages to wrangle some humor from the situation. It’s really entertaining and simply funny, as a comedy should be. Also, Ferdane is incredibly, capital H Hot. She is a (literal) sapphic wet dream. Still fanning myself just thinking about her. (Elbaz isn’t bad to look at, either.)

In the end, I found it disappointing, though, that the film doesn’t stay in the mirrorverse but reutrns to the “normal patriarchy”. I would have liked it if it had dared to stay in the new version of the world, instead of so utterly derailing Alexandra. But I guess you can’t have everything – and in this film we do get a lot.

Damien (Vincent Elbaz) in the car with Alexandra (Marie-Sophie Ferdane) kneeling next to the car, fixing the tire.

Summarizing: Fun.

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