Monday, June 27, 2005

When Did Quirky Dethrone Slutty, And Why Did No One Ask Me?

Audrey Tautou is the Hello Kitty of French actresses. You get tooth decay just looking at her. Look at her! Whatever she's thinking she might get up to with that spoon, I guaranfuckingtee you it involves nothing naughtier than hot fudge smears in her dimples.

Whatever happened to the great, smoldering, adult French actresses? La Tautou couldn't smolder if you held a match to her. She's too fucking damp to smolder. She simpers, she saunters, she whimses, she goggles out of those saucer-sized ingenue eyes of hers with that air of Quirky(tm) ironclad innocence that makes me want to take a hammer to her temple.

She is a perma-virgin, Our Lady of Perpetual Adorableness, hell-bent on sucking you into her whimsical candy-colored world where Magic Really Happens and men and women shyly hold hands as they stroll (or wheelchair, in Mathilde's case) along the Seine. And I'm not just talking about 'Amélie' here, though that's certainly the locus classicus insufferabilis. This is her schtick. And it is not what French actresses are for.

And yet she is everywhere. She is shaping up to be the Oughts' answer to Gérard Depardieu; apparently it is some secret policy of the French government to have a state-mandated actor on hand at all times and in all films. How did this happen? How did we get from Emmanuelle Béart to this? What did we do wrong?

The Tautou is a cloying, noxious child-woman, and Catherine Deneuve could do worse than to take her over her knee and give her a good lesson in what it means to be a French female icon.

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