I’m all for flicks that feature folks sitting around breaking down the minutia of life, love and how messed up we all are. Everyone from John Hughes (see "The Breakfast Club!") to Kevin Smith ("Clerks" rules!) to even the great Bernardo Bertolucci ("Last Tango in Paris" has a lot more then just sex folks!) have all taken on such bold minimalist movie chatter and produced work that’s highly memorable. The problem with the French import "Nuit #1" isn't that the film has too much talking, it's that the candid conversation within just isn't interesting enough.
Clara and Nikolai meet at a music pulsating rave and decide to go to his apartment for some passionate sex. After it’s over Clara decides to head on home, but the awakened Nikolai confronts her and she eventually decides to stay. With the sexual chemistry between them now mellowed, the two begin to reveal very personal, private and damning aspects of their lives in an encounter that’s much more then they bargained for.
The above description is being generous because frankly there’s truly much ado about nothing here. After the initial Last Tango-esk sexual tryst that lasts for what seems like an eternity, our couple reveals the most mundane, dull and lifeless things about themselves and it’s painful to watch. Both Clara, who reveals herself to be an apathetic third grade teacher, and Nikolai, a lifer who lives off the generosity of others, are two characters that have no redeeming qualities and it makes it hard to like them. (And when you don't like someone spending two hours with him or her is hardly entertainment!) Like a cross between a watered-down Last Tango and a more annoying "My Dinner With Andre" (I didn’t think that was even possible!), Nuit #1 makes the mistake of trying to hard to be clever – death in the realm of the talking heads movie.
I get why some critics desperate to come off intellectual think "Nuit #1's" caustic comments are bold, its candor is candid and unapologetic honesty is refreshing, but in the end both we as an audience and the characters within learn nothing new. Just saying something shocking isn't enough – it’s the meaning behind it that speaks volumes.
"NUIT #1" IS CURRENTLY PLAYING IN NEW YORK AND OPENS IN LOS ANGELES AUGUST 10 FROM ADOPT FILMS.
Title: "Nuit #1"
Cast: Catherine de Lean, Dimitri Stroroge
Director: Anne Emond
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Company: Adopt Films