The Man of My Life (2007)

The Man of My Life



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The family that centres the story is typically middle-class, but just happens to be well-adjusted and happy. Frederic is deeply in love with his wife, Frederique, and they have a jolly, rambunctious child. There are no clouds on their horizon. Long hours are spent soaking up the sun, swimming in nearby rivers and enjoying wine and food on terraces. One day Hugo, a new neighbor, appears. He is invited for dinner; one thing leads to another and conversation soon reveals that Hugo is gay. So begins … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Zabou Breitman, Agnès de Sacy
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 20, 2007
Strand Releasing - Official Site

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as Frédéric

as Frédérique

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Critic Reviews for The Man of My Life

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (6)

The Man of My Life has a hard time working up much beyond its visual prettiness.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

he film has a loose, easy rhythm befitting its sun-splashed look.

Full Review… | November 9, 2007
Boston Globe
Top Critic

All too often, though, characters bandy about platitudes like they're tennis balls...or shout for no reason.

Full Review… | September 25, 2007
Village Voice
Top Critic

A sumptuously illustrated but shallow fable of the grass-is-greener conflict between freedom and commitment.

September 21, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

Too much emphasis is placed on wall text that swirls around like the worst Magnetic Poetry.

Full Review… | September 20, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

A drama that steadily succumbs to self-conscious artiness, drunk on its own sense of contrived poetry and cloudy existential reflection.

Full Review… | September 12, 2006
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Man of My Life

"The Man of My Life," the second film from French filmmaker / screenwriter / actress Zabou Breitman, isn't very good, but at least it's ambitious. It tries to explore new emotional territory. While it's pretty seriously flawed and sometimes laughably flat-footed and pretentious, it is the work of a genuine artist. One that is still learning her craft; but then aren't we all.

The story, which Breitman co-wrote, introduces us to a delightful, down-to-earth family vacationing in a gorgeous villa in the south of France. (The setting is exquisite, and the cinematography is ravishing. This is the true French countryside.) Moving in next door is a single gay man, whom the family befriends.

Gradually through the course of the summer, a special bond develops between the father (played very well by Bernard Campan) and the neighbor. At times they seem like two giddy boys together. Little by little, it appears that they might be falling in love. Their conversations get quite deep, exploring feelings about family, love, relationships, children, etc. And each late-night conversation leaves them oddly moved and oddly uncomfortable. So much seems to be going on just below the surface.

The film doesn't have much of a dramatic arc. It doesn't want to be a coming-out melodrama, although there is a little bit of that. It mostly wants to raise questions and explore the emotional landscape of middle-aged men feeling the ground beneath them shifting uncomfortably.

The weaknesses in "The Man of My Life" are so significant that I cannot recommend it. But at a minimum, it makes me want to try one more Breitman film to see if she pulls off her interesting experiments with more success elsewhere. (She has directed two more films since completing this one.)

It is interesting to ponder what it must be like for straight married men who start to feel their sexuality open up in middle age. From what I can tell, this is happening quite a bit lately. My heart goes out to these men as they struggle to balance loyalty to family with loyalty to their own hearts.

Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer


Beautiful images, good acting.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Good movie but going into it you must know you'll end up asking more questions than receiving answers. The cinematography is gorgeous and that alone for me was worth watching.


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