Early in his career French director Francois Ozon constructed lively films that centered on the pleasures in life. Films like Swimming Pool and 8 Femmes. They were fun, mysterious and at times sexy. Then things went a little off track. Amant Double signals his return to the sexy mystery genre of his past.
Based on the novel Lives of the Twins by Joyce Carol Oates, the film is filled with plenty of oomph when it comes to its handling of the sex. You know you are in for something a little perverse when the very first scene is an extreme close up of lead character Chloe Fortin (Marine Vacth – Jeune & Jolie, Belle Familles) most intimate of parts while undergoing a gynecological exam. Things do not get less sexual as time goes by. Several of the scenes steam things up like crazy. Loads of sex happens here. Up close and personal style.
Though this is not going to be your typical 50 Shades of Grey I am going to titillate you type sex film. The first scene really signals the director’s intentions here. An extreme and distorted shot of female anatomy. It takes a moment for you to figure out what it is. Nothing is going to be looked at in a normal way here.
25-year-old Chloe has been having stomach pains for a very long time. Her gynecologist tells her there is not physical reason for the pain and it must be psychological. She wants her to see a therapist. Chloe finally agrees. The quiet woman is sent to see Dr. Paul Meyer (Jeremie Renier – In Bruges, The Brotherhood of the Wolf). Chloe’s sessions involve her talking a lot with Meyer just listening. In actuality, what is happening is that he is falling in love with his patient. Chloe is happy to stop their sessions as she believes she is cured and would allow them to have a relationship.
In quick order they have moved in together. Soon the fact that she knows precious little about the man she is living with begins to bother Chloe. She begins to dig into his past. In doing this Chloe discovers that Paul has a twin brother, Dr. Louis Delord. Another therapist. Though not of the same kind at all. Chloe begins seeing Louis under a pseudonym.
Louis is everything Paul is not. He is angry and dismissive. Almost against Chloe’s will their session turn to sex. Louis claims she is frigid and can cure her. Soon the digging leads to a mother (Jacqueline Bisset – Bullitt, Rich and Famous) and daughter from the twins’ past. Or are they?
This is where things become rather hazy. Whose past are we watching? His or hers? Paging Mr. Hitchcock. The erotic thriller has more twists than a pretzel. It is a look at sexual repression in several forms. Freud would have had a field day with these twin brothers.
In regards to the film it is at times silly and trashy while others gives you a total adrenaline boost. Always a whole lot of fun, though. Plenty of nods are given to similar directors like Paul Verhoeven, Brian De Palma and David Cronenberg. When these guys are on it is a hell of a lot of fun.