"My Wife is an Actress"
Directed by Yvan Attal.
Written by Yvan Attal.
Starring Yvan Attal and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Release Year: 2001
Review Date: 7/24/02
Man, I’m sure not going to be marrying an
actress anytime soon.
French writer/director Yvan Attal does a
great job of portraying the horror story that is living with a
famous actress in this comedy-drama about a relationship that
experiences problems due to the film industry. In his subtitled
film “My Wife is an Actress”, Attal is basically playing himself,
since he really IS married to his costar in the film, Charlotte
Gainsbourg, a famous English actress that has many French films to
her credit. In the film, the two keep their real first names in a
story of how a relationship off the film set can be problematic if
one of the two is not accustomed to a life of the rich and famous.
Yvan slowly comes to resent living a life where every dinner date,
every walk through town, every ride on a train cannot be
private...and, it leads him to fits of jealousy that threaten his
If you know coming in that Attal is really
living this life right now, it makes the film much more
interesting. Watching him in an incredible scene where he goes to
the movie theater to see his wife’s new film, you cringe with him as
500 people watch his wife have sex with an actor onscreen; what must
it be like? I always think about the husbands & boyfriends of hot
actresses like Halle Berry, J-Lo, Salma Hayek and the like; jeez,
how hard was it for Berry’s husband to watch those sex scenes in
“Monster’s Ball”?? First of all, Berry is hot, and so everyone is
already going to the theater to see her “get down.” Then, she has
like a three-minute sex scene with Billy Bob Thornton of all people,
and it is pretty adult. How must it feel to know that 15-year-old
boys are watching your wife have sex?
It is this and many other questions that
Attal presents to us as he plays an everyman that always dreamed of
marrying a beautiful actress, only to have to deal with the
consequences every single day. Attal is excellent here with
everything—he is entirely believable, and his sporadic humor helps
lighten the mood when he gets overly tense in those public
situations. Gainsbourg is not so interesting, but maybe she wasn’t
written to be interesting—she has top billing, although one would
assume that is her husband Attal’s doing—and besides, her part is
better playing second fiddle to Attal. The only main supporting
role is played by veteran Terence Stamp, who is a wily slimeball as
Gainsbourg’s older co-star in her in-movie film. Stamp is as good
as usual, and he creates an uncomfortable rapport with Gainsbourg
that makes the audience suspicious throughout the length of the
That length is too long, and a useless
subplot featuring Yvan’s sister Nathalie (Noemie Lvovsky), who is
facing the daunting prospect of whether or not to circumcise her new
child, makes “My Wife is an Actress” about 20 minutes too long.
But, in a 90-minute film, you gotta film it up somehow! But,
getting beyond those things, this is a fun little film. And,
there’s a scene in the film that reminded me of the exact experience
I had working on a production in Jamaica last summer—funny stuff.
Rating: $9.00 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard