My Sex Life…or How I Got Into an Argument

Three hours long, filmed in black and white, Arnaud Desplechin’s highly watchable French comedy-drama (1996) about the sex lives of 30ish Parisian intellectuals and academics has been compared to everything from Jean Eustache’s The Mother and the Whore to Reality Bites. For me, it’s a lot better than the latter and not nearly as good as the former. Desplechin undeniably catches something generational and poignant about the various relationships of a part-time philosophy teacher (Mathieu Amalric)–including one with a woman (Marianne Denicourt) who winds up getting engaged to his best friend. The influences here, by the way, are not only cinematic (the aforementioned Eustache) but also literary; novelist Philip Roth is the most overt reference point. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Friday, August 15, 8:00; Saturday, August 16, 1:00, 4:15, and 7:30; Sunday, August 17, 8:15; Monday and Wednesday, August 18 and 20, 6:00; and Thursday, August 21, 8:15; 312-443-3737.

–Jonathan Rosenbaum

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.