Mireille Roussel

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She's One Of Us Review


Weak
Christine (Sasha Andres) is an office temp suffering from some sort of spiritual malaise brought about by France's cold, impersonal capitalist society. Or is it just that she's a strange, socially retarded whack-job incapable of making friends or interacting with coworkers? Siegrid Alnoy's She's One of Us presents Christine's dilemma as an ambiguous mixture of aimless dissatisfaction and desperate alienation, yet the film is so infuriatingly languorous and studied that it feels like 3 Women (or Crime and Punishment, or any Alain Resnais effort) as adapted by Albert Camus. Alnoy seems to have a gripe against the dehumanizing modern world. Unfortunately, as far as one can tell from the director's debut, such displeasure is as unfocused and amorphous as her film's torpid, affected narrative.

She's One of Us' international title, For She's a Jolly Good Fellow, might have added a touch of wry irony to this ponderous pseudo-thriller. As it stands, however, Alnoy's formalized film plods along with an unwarranted air of profundity. Christine, her last name (Blanc) hinting at her overwhelming vacuity, shuffles wide-eyed from one high-rise office job to another, failing at each to make an impact on her disinterested colleagues. Determined to make nice-nice with someone, she latches onto her temp agency boss Patricia (Catherine Mouchet), lying about a shared affinity for collectible glass owls and repeating snippets of conversation she's overheard at the grocery store. For reasons unknown, Patricia begins to spend her free time with Christine, but things go haywire when, in a fit of embarrassed rage while at a local swimming pool, Catherine lethally lashes out at her new friend.

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