Romain is a very successful fashion photographer who's diagnosed with terminal cancer. He copes by being cruel and nasty to those he loves, until a visit with his grandmother changes his outlook. But, his boyfriend's moved out, now what?
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
Haiti, late 1970's. Sea, sex and sun for Ellen, Brenda and Sue, three North American ladies, on the wrong side of forty or fifty-odd, going through an enchanted interlude. Lonely, forsaken, neglected by men in their native countries, they can indulge here in carnal exultation without shame, thanks to handsome local young men they pay a few dollars. Ellen is a Boston French literature professor, Brenda, an unfulfilled wife from Savannah, Georgia and Sue, a sexually frustrated but good-natured Canadian factory worker. In this second garden of Eden they don't care too much about the neighboring poverty nor about Baby Doc's violent dictatorship. The trouble is that that two of the three women have sights on a single man, Legba. And Legba is beginning to be fed up with being a stud... Written by
Part of the film was to be shot in Haiti but only one week's filming took place because political events prevented the crew from staying longer. The rest of the film was shot in the Dominican Republic, in neighboring Santo Domingo. See more »
When Brenda is desperately looking for Legba and she wanders around the village at night, one of the guys she crosses by is wearing a Larry Johnson NBA New York Knicks basketball jacket with number 2. Larry Johnson played for the Knicks in the mid '90s. See more »
I turned 55, last month. There's nothing in Boston for women over 40. Don't contradict me. I've checked out every bar in that goddam, stuck-up city. And there's nothing there that's even close to Legba. How was such a handsome boy born here? On this dungheap.
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Sex tourism is not a pretty subject, even where, as here, the tourists are attractive middle-aged North American women who have gone to Haiti for some R & R. As the film is based on three short stories by Dany Laferrière, a Haitian writer, we get the Haitian point of view, and not surprisingly at least one local, Albert the hotel manager (Lys Ambroise), does not like what is going on, even though his business depends on it. The gigolos themselves are rather more relaxed, though they have to cope with jealousies between customers and the problem of customers who fall in love with them. However, this is the Haiti of the late 70s, when the dictator "Baby Doc" Duvalier was in power. Hence an air of menace lies over proceedings it may be tropical, but Haiti is no paradise. In fact, this is rather a grim movie.
Proceedings are a little slow, the director Laurent Cantent being addicted to long, static shots, and there is not much in the way of erotic scenes. The resort is not a luxury one, these are not wealthy guests, but the women can buy what they want here. Ellen, the Queen Bee, is outwardly unsentimental about it all but she too becomes emotionally involved with her beach boy. Charlotte Rampling, the vixen for all seasons, plays Ellen with both sensitivity and panache, while Karen Young does a wonderfully self-centred Rachel. She falls in love with the charming Legba (Menthony Cesar), with whom she experienced her first orgasm, at the age of 45, but of course it is a hopeless passion.
I came out with mixed feelings about this film's message. One the one hand, the women are exploiting the young Haitian men, on the other the women are vulnerable and lonely, and non-violent. I'm not at all sure that either side is damaged by the contact, and one of the relationships, between the French Canadian Sue (Louise Portal) and her rather older "boy" seems to be a perfectly healthy one with no illusions on either side. Obviously there are risks for the women (falling in love with the gigolo seems to be the major one) but are they not entitled to some emotional adventure even in staid middle age?
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