Viennale 2014 – Day 8: Pas son genre (Not My Type)

Pas Son GenrePas son genre
France 2014
Written by Lucas Belvaux
Directed by Lucas Belvaux

My main problem with “Pas son genre” was that I didn’t root for Jennifer and Clément as a couple. They just seem completely mismatched from the get-go. Now obviously I don’t think that two people have to be almost the same person to make a good couple, but with the two of them, the differences just seemed way too big – and too fundamental – for them to work. There just is not a single similarity that they share, no common ground at all. Apart from a certain physical attraction, I just didn’t see what kept them together. Which in my book is a major problem, at least with a romantic movie like this.

Mind you, I’m not saying that I don’t understand why they fell for each other in the first place. They’re both attractive, good looking people, so I totally get why they would hook up. Clément looks for someone to spend time with. He’s a city person, and he just dreads that he has to spend most of his week in this small town outside of Paris, which is far too rural for his taste. Jennifer on the other hand is mostly busy working and raising her son. Clément offers her the chance to be more than just a mum and to experience other parts of her womanhood again. To lust and be lusted after, to break out of her daily routine, to feel young and alive again. But for him, that’s all there is. He just seeks a pleasant distraction, while she’s looking for someone she can share all parts of her life with. She’s a dreamer, he’s a realist. She’s warm and open and looking for closeness, while he’s cold and withdrawn and distant. Thus, pretty much from the get-go, this feels like a relationship with a built-in expiration date, set in their not-too-distant future. I also had a hard time warming up to Clément, who didn’t seem to have any redeeming qualities. And with just a little under two hours, the movie’s a tad too long for its own good.

Nevertheless, despite this shortcomings, “Pas son genre” is quite entertaining. It offers some great scenes, has a nice soundtrack (even though it was really weird for me to hear the austrian pop song “Live is Life” in an international production; I had no idea that it was popular outside of Austria and Germany), and also offers some great performances by both leads. Loïc Corbery plays the cold-hearted bastard with calculated perfection, while Émilie Dequenne (who looks like a french Billie Piper) is incredibly warm and charming as Jennifer. “Pas son genre” definitely is a nice little film – but don’t expect to fall in love with Clément and Jennifer as a couple.


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