Mimosas & Gender Roles : Diving into French Cinema

Updated: May 29, 2018


Image credit: Pixabay | Graphic made by @canva | Do you know the name of a cocktail with champagne and orange juice? Yes, a mimosa.

The Balade Factory and #baladeblog is all about supporting #femaletravelers, so of course the intriguing role reversal and in the French film Je ne suis pas un homme facile immediately caught my attention. Some goals of intimate, group travel for women who don’t necessarily want to travel alone are to provide:

  • comfort

  • heftier security

  • shared interest in activity types

  • opportunities to hang out out with like-minded women

  • oh, and don’t forget about many chances to find a soul sister along the journey, too!

Women don’t necessarily want to travel with single men or couples because, well, we want to experience travel in its purest form - just you, a nice view (perhaps an adult beverage), and your own thoughts surrounding you as you soak in the moment, selfies included. A no judgement zone is vital, and some women may prefer to altogether avoid unwanted flirtations from the opposite sex. In short, there is a need and desire for all-female travel and tours, most likely for the same reasons that female-only gyms exist, right? Overall, there’s less traveltimidation (if that’s even a word) when women travel together, and according to stats in 2014 from Booking.com, over 70% of American women are participating in journeys and travels alone these days. If that topic particularly interests you, head on over to the home page of the #baladeblog - Balade Factory Travel - after you finish this film critique.


So, let’s get back to the le cinéma français and le film Je ne suis pas un homme facile, released in France during April 2018. IMBD succinctly summarizes the plot:


Image Credit: Netflix

IMBD Summary: A shameless chauvinist gets a taste of his own medicine when he wakes up in a world dominated by women and locks horns with a powerful female author.


A short and sweet run-through of the major theme, but for a #francophile junkie like myself, I must expound! Minor #spoileralert coming...maintenant!


Damien (played by French actor Vincent Elbaz), the main character, is the stereotypical Parisian bachelor: constantly “complimenting” women on their physical appearance (leaving most highly annoyed) and always counting the notches on his belt so to speak… you get the idea. His go-to pickup line is about #mimosas thus the symbolic image for my post today. Only a few minutes into the film, Damien suffers a freak accident that results in a head injury. When he wakes up, ALL stereotypical #genderroles are reversed. I was immediately sucked into the small details of his new and surreal female-governed reality. Thanks to his rule-following friend Christophe who is recently a stay-at-home dad on paternal leave, Damien learns how to adapt quickly. Before you know it, Damien succumbs to waxing treatments (on multiple parts of his body), nail polish and hair dye, yoga pants, and the practical, yet overpowering at times, overloaded tote bag (I personally have a #lovehaterelationship with my Longchamps le pliage, what are your feelings on totes?). I won’t say too much about his amorous conquests as a masculinist as to not #overshare, but what I will share is that what I thought would primarily be a comedy is actually a very clever, perceptive, and eye-opening film about #genderroles and expectations in relationships, and in western cultures in general.

One of the most interesting aspects, to me, was hearing female native speakers of French use language primarily accessed only by heterosexual men in most French cinematic features that I have watched over the years. Want to beef up your relation amoureuse vocabulary from the film? On y va!

  • Tu as un très joli sourire = You have a nice smile

  • Mon mec m’a quitté parce que je voulais pas d’enfant = My man left me because I didn’t want any children

  • Ah oui, c’est pas con ça = Oh yeah, that’s not a bad idea

  • Vous avez le boulot ingrat mais ça me sauve = You have the thankless jobs (i.e. chores) but it saves me [from having to do it]

  • Je suis très post-it = I really love post-its (me too! Had to throw that one in there) #postits

  • Une coupette? = A glass? [of champagne]

  • Les messieurs affectionnent particulièrement la cuvée rose = Gentlemen prefer rosé

  • Elles ont le beau rôle, les femmes dans votre monde = It’s not so bad for women in your world

  • Vous avez porté le string? Ça, c’est le véritable injustice = Have you worn a thong? That’s a real injustice

  • T’es amoureux, quoi? = Are you in love or what?

  • Lolo me trompe = Lolo’s cheating on me

  • C’est toujours les mêmes plans pourris avec toi = It’s always the same crap with you

  • Tu ne changeras jamais, en fait = You’ll really never change

  • Avec les femmes du monde entier, chantons fort solidarité ! = Women of the world, say together, solidarity !

As you can tell, I give this film a very positive review. I love it that the French found a way to talk about conventional #genderroles with a cocktail, très français, non? There is some nudity - mostly bare-chested females, as you can imagine due to the role reversals in addition to some sexual content, but I feel it’s appropriate for most older teens and young adults - and all adult women and men - as a departure point for diving into some deeper chats on the topic. My biggest compliment to the film is that is uses a light-hearted approach to tackle a very complex issue, without being too goofy or diverting too much from the serious tone required of such conversations.


This film left me thinking about #solotravel and why women feel the need to band together. Although solo travel is increasing in popularity among women (follow @themodern_pilgrim or @sheisnotlost for #solotravel inspiration), I admit that big or unfamiliar adventures feel safer, for me, in a some kind of group. Big believer in the #thebuddysystem over here. I did run into a few potentially dangerous situations as a solo traveler in my early twenties that impacted me; thankfully, no real harm done other than leaving me a bit paranoid as an adult. What about you? How do you travel, and when or how have you stepped outside of your travel comfort zone?


Now, go #netflix and search Je ne suis pas un homme facile now, and then immediately add it to your playlist! Here's the bande annonce, or film trailer, to capture your first impressions. Will you be watching this soon or what? I'd love to hear your shared critiques and comments.



#bravo #netflix #JeNeSuisPasUnHommeFacile #IAmNotAnEasyMan


Bon Voyage et Belle Balade.

@thebaladefactory


#filmcritique #frenchcinema #femaletravelbloggers #travelblogger #ladiesgoneglobal #sheisnotlost #wearetravelgirls #girlswhotravel #girlsaroundtheworld #familytravel #beautifuldestinations #womenwhoexplore #bestvacations #travelinspiration #dametraveller #dametraveler #wanderlust #wander #letsgosomewhere #awesomeglobe #exploretocreate #baladeblog

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