Josiane Balasko – Cliente AKA A French Gigolo AKA Client (2008)
AMG: Gallic actress-turned-director Josiane Balasko – a Euro cinema mainstay best known for her unconventional romantic lead in Bertrand Blier’s 1989 Trop belle pour toi – helms and co-stars in Cliente, a quirky and offbeat look at the bittersweet life of a male prostitute, which Balasko co-adapted from her 2005 novel with screenwriter Franck Lee Joseph. Eric Caravaca stars as Marco, a French hustler in his mid-30s whose path criss-crosses with that of infomercial actress Judith (Nathalie Baye) in a local park. A nascent divorcee, she’s in the mood for a quick fling, and follows suit with Marco, but this infuriates her sister, Irene (Balasko). Both sexual partners intend to enjoy the liaison as a one-time engagement; for better or worse, it soon repeats itself on multiple occasions and evolves into a deep-seated and very sticky relationship with lots of emotional strings. Significantly, this makes matters very complex and messy for Marco, who happens to be married to hairdresser Fanny (Isabelle Carre) and shares a residence with her, her mother (Catherine Hiegel) and her goth-decked sister (Marilou Berry, Balasko’s real-life daughter)). Fanny, it seems, harbors no knowledge of Marco’s real profession; when she discovers the truth, she systematically attempts to use her husband’s profession to her own selfish advantages in lieu of objecting passionately or leaving him.
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