Trouble Every Day Review
By Frank Ochieng
French filmmaker and provocateur Claire Denis has provided movie audiences with stimulating cinema over the years, with fare such as Nenette et Boni, I Can't Sleep, and the award-winning Beau Travail. Clearly, Denis has proven herself as a progressive and provocative director whose cinematic vision remains dauntingly confrontational. However, in her perversely passionate sexual artsy thriller Trouble Every Day, Denis revels in the hedonistic arena of extreme nudity, graphic sex, and even cannibalism. As a result, her film ends up wallowing in the mundane seediness of its ludicrous and salacious conventions. Although quite raw and caustic, Trouble Every Day is an awkwardly garish showcase that diverges from anything remotely probing or penetrating.
Vincent Gallo (Buffalo '66) and Tricia Vessey (Town & Country) portray American newlyweds named Shane and June Brown, spending their honeymoon in romantic Paris. A reluctant Shane appears fearful about consummating his marriage with an eager June, causing him to seek refuge in a nearby Parisian medical clinic where he explores his unexplainably weird sexual urges. And there's also this tendency for him to want to devour his spouse during sex. Yes, as in literally eating his loving partner's flesh right down to her human bone. Hence, Shane has to resort to masturbation in order to overcome the desire to chew on his new bride as if she were a juicy pork chop. Bottom line: If Shane doesn't get the help he needs to control his bizarre behavior, he will inevitably end up killing his woman.
Desperate and delusional, Shane seeks out an old friend at the clinic, Dr. Semeneau (Alex Descas). Hoping that the good doctor would have some miracle drug to contain his psychosexual cannibalistic cravings, Shane finds out that the controversial Dr. Semeneau was let go from the clinic due to his risky experiments. In the meantime, Semeneau finds himself treating his own wife Core (Beatrice Dalle) for the same affliction that beleaguers Shane.
Denis collaborated on this movie's hysterically murky and convoluted screenplay with co-writer Jean-Pol Fargeau. But for all its explicit and raucous antics, we never get behind the self-destructive deviance of the characters' psychosexual inadequacies. The film is undoubtedly disturbing and has already caused a controversy with the French media, but the movie really fails to challenge the concepts of mental and emotional breakdown.
Overall, Trouble Every Day may have a haunting urgency that some may regard as refreshingly outlandish and strangely germane, but this romance thriller is a punishing and unfocused spectacle merely trying to grab your attention... without much idea of what to do with it.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Wednesday 11th July 2001
Distributed by: Lot 47 Films
Production compaines: Messaoud/a Films, Rezo Films, Dacia Films, Kinétique Inc.
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 49%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 25
Cast & Crew
Starring: Vincent Gallo as Docteur Shane Brown, Béatrice Dalle as Coré, Tricia Vessey as June Brown, Alex Descas as Docteur Léo, Nicolas Duvauchelle as Erwan, José Garcia as Docteur Choart, Aurore Clément as Jeanne, Florence Loiret-Caille as Christelle, Marilú Marini as Friessen, Raphaël Neal as Ludo, Hélène Lapiower as Malécot