THE STORY OF MY LIFE
SUNDAY, 9TH DECEMBER, 10.00 A.M.
TUESDAY, 11TH DECEMBER, 8.30 P.M.
RUNNING TIME 90 MINUTES
Raphaël (Edouard Baer) is a glib but talented author who has built a career out of ghost-writing autobiographies for French celebrities. He's happily dating Muriel (Marie-Josée Croze), but life changes when he starts writing a book on soccer superstar Kevin (Clovis Cornillac). Wading through Kevin's monumental ego and strange creative notions is a challenge in itself, but what really sets Raphael's mind off course is the discovery that Kevin is dating Claire (Alice Taglioni), the object of Raphael's unrequited college affection.
Review by Louise Keller:
'Cowardice is the worst flaw in men after mediocrity,' the disarmingly honest Muriel (Marie-Josée Croze), tells her boyfriend Raphaël Jullian (Edouard Baer), as he prolongs his tooth brushing routine with unprecedented vigour. It is one of many searingly truthful moments in this highly observant French film whose topics may be serious, but whose tone is philosophically quirky. From the profound to the ridiculous, The Story of My Life is meaningful without being earnest, hilarious but always grounded in reality.
An autobiography ghost writer to famous people, Raphael is expert at being invisible. 'Think about the cheque,' his agent tells him, but apart from getting no recognition for writing the books, he is nondescript when it comes to his emotional affairs, revealing little of any consequence about himself in his relationships. Baer, with a rustic stubble and perpetual quizzical look, is like a favourite teddy bear - one you want to take home and care for. His Raphaël treads the middle ground between his two diametrically different best friends.
There are amusing fast tracked sequences as we see successful, pragmatic businessman Max (Jean-Michel Lahmi) speed dating, while ideologist and would-be photo-journalist Jeff (Eric Berger), shows he never has the courage of his own convictions. When Raphaël meets his new book subject, football captain Kevin (Clovis Cornillac), he recognises that here is someone who is the epitome of everything he despises. Kevin is arrogant, ignorant and dumbly suggests a writing style for him to implement, and even a play-on-words, corny book title ('How To Score'). The fact that Kevin is dating Claire (Alice Taglioni), for whom Raphaël is carrying a torch, is almost too much to bear. Cornillac who won Best Supporting Actor at the Cesar Awards, is superbly irritating in a role Sergi Lopez might have played. Though Raphaël dreams of Claire, Muriel (Croze at her best) is the best thing in his life, encouraging him to reveal his true self.
There's a comical flash-back that includes a car ride in the country, a fumbling kiss and a wild boar, plus a memorable dinner party for four, when circumstances and confrontations spew irrevocably over the relationships. The film is as delightful as it is fresh, revealing human foibles with a sincere but light touch.