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La Moustache (2005)

February 3, 2010

4/10 Babyfaces

Cool idea, lame execution.

La Moustache is about a guy who up and decides to shave off his mustache after having it hanging off his mug for a good 15 years. So, he gets rid of that sucker, he’s lookin’ all naturale, he shows his wife and friends the big change, but, wouldn’t ya know, no one notices. Naturally, he’s confused, so he plays along until the joke stops being funny. As if that weren’t enough of a head trip, they all claim that he’s never even had a mustache, ever!

“What the eff is going on!” proclaims the Frenchman. “Am I crazy? Is there some kind of facial hair conspiracy going on that I don’t know about? Is this what happened to Tom Selleck?”

And that’s why I will never shave again.

I can see how some out there might find this a stupid premise for a movie, like my good buddy Fred who asked, “How can you make a whole movie about that?”, but it managed to peak my interest all the same. It takes this simple idea of a dude and his la moustache and turns it into this whole new thing that I quickly found myself really wanting to get to the bottom of. Maybe it’s just me, but I dig stories like that.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t pan out as I’d hoped it would. Fred was right again.

The first Act starts out well enough because it’s all about the gimmick and it keeps cranking up the paranoia until no one in the movie or in the audience has any idea what to make of the situation at hand. That’s where it works and it kept me watching in the hopes that it would keep this air of mystery up until the end where it all finally makes some kind of sense. But that’s the things with gimmicks – they’re just gimmicks.

Once the second Act kicks in, it ends up being more of the first Act, just more nonsensical and boring than before. The real problem here is that the main character stumbles upon photographic evidence of his mustache existing but for some reason never tells his wife about it. Why wouldn’t you do that? Don’t be stupid, if someone’s fitting you for a straitjacket, you use whatever ammo you can get to prove their ass wrong. I would have rubbed those Polaroids in my wife’s face like you wouldn’t believe.


But then there’s the third and final Act, and who knows what the hell that was about. Not gonna spoil anything, but I couldn’t help but think that the writer here really had no freakin’ clue where to take the story after page 60, so why not take it nowhere. Double frustrating.

If it weren’t for a phone call I received midway through this thing, I would have zonked out on the spot and I probably wouldn’t have cared about what I missed either. It’s not often that I fall asleep during movies and this one just narrowly avoided being in the minority.

La Moustache is one of those movies that may very well be brilliant underneath the surface and have a good deal of payoff for anyone willing to dissect the hell out of it, but I’m not gonna waste my time, I got reviews to write. The acting’s not bad, particularly on behalf of our mustachioed protagonist, Vincent Lindon, and a nice bit role by Mathieu Amalric, but that’s about it. There’s something here, something good, I just know it, it’s just that it sucks to sit down and get invested in something only to feel like an idiot after it’s all said and done.

Damn abstract French films…

7 Comments leave one →
  1. nothatwasacompliment permalink
    February 3, 2010 12:45 pm

    I may have been a smidgen more forgiving of this one than you, but it still had me frustrated in the same way.

    Not even giving us some possible explanations to choose from is just annoying.

  2. February 3, 2010 1:26 pm

    so hang on, thats the plot, a guy saves his moustache off? i know there are a lot of french films where nothing happens but that is ridiculous. At least Gerard Depardieu is in it…
    what? hes not in it? where was he that week?

    • February 3, 2010 1:33 pm

      Agreed, seriously lacking in the Depardieu department.

  3. February 3, 2010 2:17 pm

    The premises sounded hilarious. Too bad the movie didn’t pan out 😦

  4. Branden permalink
    February 4, 2010 4:05 pm

    I caught this movie is passing a couple of times. I read the synopsis of plot and I was like, “Huh?” This whole was about a guy’s mustache.

    I kinda get the underlying theme about a guy leading an invisible existence, but come on.

  5. February 10, 2010 7:19 pm

    I just saw this a while ago…I liked the beginning but it completely lost me after a while…especially once he goes off to Asia..what was up with that???

  6. October 23, 2010 12:41 am

    This could have been pulled off so much better, but instead it just goes with being confusing as hell, and making no complete sense in the end of all this. Nice review, check out mine, when you can!

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