This week I went to see a film, Cafe de Flore. It had had good reviews (and was, I noticed, the staff pick at the Deluxe). The photography and acting were very good indeed, but for almost two hours, I tried to work out what exactly was going on. When it finally became clear, I found it hard not to start yelling at the screen. I'm now going to "spoil" this piece of pretentious, sexist crap by explaining the plot as simply as I can, because it was the plot that was so revolting.
Two interwoven stories, separated in time and place. On screen, Montreal begins first and takes up more time throughout, with flashbacks, but it makes more sense to put Paris first here.
Paris, 1969. A young woman who works as a hairdresser gives birth to a boy with Down's, and her husband leaves her. She devotes her life to helping her child become the best he can be, insisting that he goes to a mainstream school. One day, when he is seven, a girl with Down's joins his class. The children instantly become firmly attached to each other and scream when they are separated. They spend time at each other's houses, but the mother feels displaced from being the centre of her son's life and becomes very distressed by his obsession with the girl. The girl's parents are distressed too, and decide to send her to a special school. The boy keeps asking for her. The mother ties him to a bed to stop him going out to find her. Eventually she takes him to find her, puts both children in the car, and kills herself and them by driving into a tree.
Montreal, 2011. A man who is now a handsome, healthy, rich, internationally famous DJ married his dark-haired, equally music-loving young girlfriend twenty years ago, and they have two daughters. But he has met and fallen for a younger, hip, tattooed blonde and has moved in with her. He decides he wants to remarry. She is worried about his ex, saying it's too soon. The children visit regularly, but his older daughter becomes upset and in the film's best line, tells him "what Mum won't say - you're an asshole."
The ex-wife is indeed very distressed, sleepwalking and having nightmares about a little boy with Down's. She goes to see a medium and works out that she was his mother in a previous life. Back then she made a mistake thinking he was her soulmate and not setting him free to be with his real soulmate. This time around she has made the same mistake, thinking her husband was her soulmate when really the blonde is his soulmate. She realises she is wrong to stand in his way. He marries the blonde, with the daughters and his now-approving parents standing by. The ex-wife arrives, smiling bravely, and hugs everyone.
I hope you understand now why I'm telling you not to bother seeing this movie.