Sunday, August 11, 2013

It Boy

Alice, the workaholic, perfectionist editor for trendy Rebelle magazine is anxious that her job is under threat from a younger, more outrageous Lise who has Alice's boss twisted around her little finger. Office gossip over a tweeted cellphone photo adds to her woes, until a friend points out how to spin the situation to change her no-fun image. What starts as office one-upwomanship morphs into a typical romantic comedy of boy meets woman, boy loses woman, woman finds boy, woman screws things up, boy sulks, woman finds boy again.

Alice is twice Balthazar's age and used to being hit on and swatting away men on a daily basis. Balthazar is gawky, well meaning and photogenic (Anne says cute), but without the X-factor implied by the English title - It Boy. Alice starts cool and sophisticated to match her perfectionist corporate image, but lets her hair down (literally) and turns into a man boy eating sex kitten.

The English title is odd, I overheard the film being called IT Boy (as in Information Technology) in the foyer of the Penthouse. Rachel put me on the right track, it is a play on It Girl. A surprisingly old concept (popularised by the 1927 film It). The French title 20 ans d’écart, which translates as "20 years apart", is more obvious.

Despite the centrality of the age difference the film doesn't explore it too much. Even Alice's daughter is down played. In fact the real age difference between leads is only 12 years and looks less. It doesn't pay to think too much about the plot and luckily the pacing doesn't give you much time to think. Just enjoy the comedy, especially the sex scene involving Angela Merkal and François Hollande. There are some good supporting characters, in particular Alice's matchmaking sister and Balthazar's motor racing father (who is dating one of Balthazar's class mates - making Alice and Balthazar look like a well matched couple).

I wonder if the message for women is -- try a boy, you might like it.

Ian's rating 4/5 Anne's rating 3.5/5

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