Or: Who run the world?
Je ne suis pas un homme facile (original title)
A shameless chauvinist gets a taste of his own medicine when he wakes up in a world dominated by women and locks horns with a powerful female author.
Damien is a fucking pig, truth be told. The kind of sexist prick that clicks his teeth at women in the street and sexualises everything they do, such as say the word ‘mimosa’. Which, in fairness, is a superb word. At work he’s just (successfully) presented an app for men to compare and contrast their sexual conquests year to year.
When his female assistant asks him, “What about women?”, he assures her the app has taken them into account, sorting each sexual partner by hair colour into a neat pie chart for the conqueror to take from what he will.
At a book signing for his pal Christophe, Damien meets and makes an instant nemesis of Christophe’s assistant, Alexandra. When he cheekily asks her when he’ll see her again, she says, “In another lifetime…” – ooh, the foreshadowing! On the way out, while ogling barely-legal girls outside, our boy walks into a lampost, knocking himself out.
When he comes to, life seems ever so slightly different… because oui, it’s an alternative reality in which women are the powerful ones who run everything from big business to government and the sex industry – and men are the fairer, more nurturing sex. SAY WHAT?
Hilarity ensues when ad exec Damien pops into work in a hastily selected outfit – grey sweat pants with ‘hot’ printed across the butt and a see-through white tee. When he arrives he’s surprised to note that his assistant is now his boss and their big boss is now fetching coffee for the women. His sexual conquests app has been dumped for a female version pitched by a broad which outrages him but he’s offered a way up the ladder of success, if he’s only willing to get on his knees for half an hour IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN*.
*Readers, I mean cunnilingus (which might be the first time I’ve ever used that word on this, or any, of my blogs). Ooh la la!
He ends up fired but help is at hand as there’s a job going under his old pal Alexandra. Yes, that Alexandra, who is now a big-shot author. And Christophe is now her assistant when he’s not being a stay at home dad. Interesting, eh? So begins a screwball comedy of wits, as Damien gets to grips with Lady Land, while Alexandra grows fascinated with his unique world view – and starts studying him for her new novel, Je ne suis pas un homme facile. But it’s not going to be without its challenges, is it?
Well. This is quite a lot of fun but it’s a little bit mixed up – and the ending sort of baffled me. I love the idea of it and the humour is really enjoyable, nailing the ridiculousness of the situation with tiny details that are just perfect, e.g. advertising campaigns objectifying men in the background for no good reason whatsoever. However, it does give you a lot to think about and the point is, it is all absolutely bonkers. And yet, this is our reality, ladies. Grooming and making ourselves pretty so we have currency to use in the world, being viewed as less than dudes – not being able to walk down a street alone without fear of being harassed/assaulted/murdered.
It is quite straightforward in that it just looks at men and women as opposites, with no other exploration of gender but maybe that’s next and I’d be into that.
It does look at the darker side of things too which I appreciated, like sexual assault and coercion – but it doesn’t see a lot of it through. Which annoyed me to begin with and then I realised – that’s because it isn’t taken that seriously in the here and now either – and that is a bleak thought. A very bleak thought indeed.
I did love the comments about male-grooming to keep the boys fuckable, while the women are able to let their body hair roam free – and I thoroughly enjoyed the attitudes towards the ‘masculinists’ from the women (“Of course I love men, I have a husband and sons!”) and other, non-masculinist men. They were clever if heavy-handed observations.
I do think somewhere along the line it loses steam, things get a bit melodramatic and the message gets lost. Then it ends, admittedly in a semi-intriguing way. However, I wanted more commitment from it. There’s also something to be said about Damien falling for a woman who acts exactly like he does. How is that supposed to help him when he *presumably* gets back to real life? Has he really learnt anything from this whole exercise – who knows – because we never find out? Unless there’s a sequel in which the Lady Land version of Alexandra adjusts to the real world – and they somehow meet in the middle.
I’ll probably be unpacking this for a while to be honest, which is a good thing – and I do keep remembering little vignettes that make me giggle. Damien’s landing strip chest hair, Lolo giving birth standing up (which makes SO MUCH SENSE). The male strippers at the bar Sybille takes Damien on a date to. It’s got great bones and gives you food for thought, I just wanted it to push through to the end. I’m also not sure Lady Land would look exactly like this, this cleanly opposite.
Right, that’s me. I’m off to buy a three-piece suit and a sports car to drive my much younger lover around in. Beep beep!
Rating: 3.5 women looking hot AF in suits out of 5
What does my love think of this one then? Would she like to live in Lady Land like a boss bitch – or… silly bloody question, huh? Find out her thoughts here, yo.