By William Wolf

TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2014--THE NEW GIRLFRIEND (UNE NOUVELLE AMIE)  Send This Review to a Friend

French actor Romain Duris deserves special commendation for his nervy performance in François Ozon’s “The New Girlfriend,” which I saw at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. This time out the popular Duris spends a good part of the film in women’s clothes. No, he’s not a drag queen, but as David, an ostensibly ordinary guy, he loves to dress like women.

This complicates life for others, namely Claire, whose close friend Lea dies and leaves her husband David bereft. Claire reaches out and wants to comfort him, eventually learning about his secret life as a cross-dresser. Under those circumstances he likes to change his name to Virginia.

Ozon’s screenplay contrives many droll situations, including the need to take extra clothes when traveling. The catch here is that David is attracted to women, even when he dresses as one.

After a while and a series of complications, the film becomes something of, dare we say, a drag. But there’s no getting away from it. Duris has balls to play this part. Reviewed October 5, 2014.

  

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