A Charming French Romantic Comedy
French comedy I Am Not An Easy Man is a charming, enjoyable film that takes a familiar concept and spins it into an original idea. Switching the exaggerated male and female roles is a clever one and although at times the execution feels a little contrived, it certainly provides some thought provocative societal questions around how we treat the opposite sex. Midway through the film, the comedy does fall to the wayside in favour of a more conventional romantic drama but thankfully the charm never lets up, right through to the satisfying, open ending.
The story begins with chauvinistic goofball Christophe (Pierre Benezit) who lives his life believing every woman is completely infatuated with him. This attitude brings with it some hilarious bites of dialogue early on before a blow to the head causes him to pass out. When he awakens, the world he knows is completely switched with women in a far more dominant role and men in a much more submissive one. This brings up some interesting and humorous moments including women wolf whistling men, male pole dancers and more. At times the sheer amount of playful role switching does overpower the story a little but there’s enough charm here to avoid it ruining the enjoyment of the film.
I Am Not An Easy Man interestingly switches perspectives between two characters midway through the film too, subtly reinforcing the idea of men and women switching roles. Christophe’s female equivalent Alexandra (Marie-Sophie Ferdane) effortlessly mirrors Christophe’s attitude toward the opposite sex too before a satisfying ending that sees both characters end their respective arcs. As a bit of a nitpick, Christophe’s ending is a little abrupt given the context of the story but the acting from both of these characters in particular are so good and balance comedy and drama in such a way that it’s easy to forgive some of the plot inconsistencies.
There is a bit of a pacing issue midway through the film though and despite a strong opening, the film does tend to slow to a more methodical crawl rather than the bouncy, quick witted opening used to set the scene. This French film is far closer to a romantic drama than a comedy too which does seem a little misleading given how humorous and fast-paced the opening is.
Although the plot may be a little basic and the idea not wholly original, the execution is excellent and really elevates this cleverly written romantic comedy. The societal questions raised around attitudes toward the opposite sex are good although do feel a little contrived at times but there’s enough here to look past this and enjoy what’s otherwise charming romantic drama.
Verdict - 7/10