Jobless, womanising Hippo (Girardot), who lives off his drug-dealing younger brother, is cynically devoted to no one but himself. Falling for Nathalie (Perrier), a rather bookish, professionally get-ahead woman, is the last thing he expects or thinks he needs. When Nathalie invites Hippo over for tea, his endless round of parties, poker games, petty crime and sleeping late suddenly seems less attractive. A simple story, this, but for his excellent feature debut, Rochant adopts a pacy, elliptical narrative style to create an enormously witty and likeable study of emotional alienation and commitment. Though dealing with 'serious' themes (the gulf between classes and generations, responsibility through influence, the need to be honest with oneself as well as with others), it never bogs down in solemn moralising, but paints a vivacious, uncommonly plausible portrait of the preoccupations of contemporary Parisian youth. Stylishly shot, it also benefits from very affecting performances by Perrier and Girardot.
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