Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bed and Board (1970)

By Eric Jessen 7/11/09

Antoine Doinel, the little ruffian from The 400 Blows, is now grown up. He's settled down, married, not happy but satisfied and no longer running. We all had high hopes for Antoine, he had fire in his eyes, but it turns out he's normal. So normal, that I am somewhat uninterested. This Antoine tries to be witty and has a light hearted personality. But he is whimsical to the point of being annoying. I don't take him seriously. His personality change from The 400 Blows is mainly the result of Jean Pierre Leaud's acting. I called his acting in Stolen Kisses “cute but incredibly flimsy” and it hasn't changed. His air of “I don't care” is supposed to be funny and at times gets a few chuckles but by the end is stale. Antoine and Christine are a darling couple. They're like Anna Karina and Jean-Claude Braily in Godard's A Woman is A Woman. Their shenanigans make me smile, but after one squabble and one silly affair I'm tired of their routine.
In Bed and Board Christine and Antoine are married. Everything is going great. Antoine cheats with a semi racist-stereotype of an Asian woman. (I thought it was stupid, you might think it's funny.) Antoine and Christine separate but Antoine gets sick of the weird Asian stuff, like sitting on mats, so he returns to Christine. That's it.
Bed and Board is dainty and pleasant. If you liked Stolen Kisses, I think you'll enjoy Bed and Board. But if your time is precious, skip it.

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