The Trouble with You
Director: Pierre Salvadori
‘The Trouble with You’ is a delightful movie. As far as escapism goes, it is black label.
The story line is quirky and silly but has a serious undercurrent. We enter the movie in what feels like a high-camp piece of B-grade Bond 007. A skivvy wearing cop out-machos the seriously bad guys against all odds, to keep the world a safe place for little boys and their mothers.
Fade to pretty mother (Adéle Haenel) telling her cherubic son that very tale, the only additional detail we glean in this cosy bedroom scene is that our impossible hero was the little boy’s father and pretty mama's husband, killed in the line of police duty.
We next meet our widowed mother at a statue-raising ceremony where statue of heroic papa is being unveiled in the town square. We realise that she too is a police officer, that her dead hubby’s best friend is madly in love with her, and that it is close to a ten year anniversary since our hero’s death.
Next up the police raid a bondage parlour and bring in the fetish costume-wearing (and non-wearing) revellers. One gimp advised that he was kidnapped and sweetly asks for his handcuffs to be tightened, another pleads that he too was kidnapped and that everything on (and in) him has been put there by his kidnappers … you get the drift. Whilst our widow is taking the details of one such masked and latex-ed reveller it is revealed that her husband was a bent cop. He identifies the engagement ring she is wearing as part of her corrupt hubby's pay-out from a jewelry store crime where an innocent young man was framed and put away.
Delightful serendipity! This young man is due for release. Our widowed police officer is still recoiling in horror and guilt. She always did wonder how they could afford a home that looked as if it had come straight from a 'Mansions of the World' cover (my optic translation) on their public servants' wage. She decides to shadow the releasee.
All gets even funnier from this point, as our young man has been bastardised from his time in jail and is now prone to violence and arson, while the bedtime stories our young mama tells her son are becoming more and more vindictive – our once invincible hero/father seems to be getting bashed and left tied up for ever longer periods! (I like the way this black comedy deals with real by-products of tragedy and corruption, in no way toning down their impact on survivors underneath its seeming frivolity.)
I’ve no idea how this convoluted tale sticks together but it does! Our innocent ex-jailbird flames a restaurant that won’t remain open for his romantic date, holds up a convenience store for a pack of Marlborough cigarettes and a lighter …. and we keep being given so many unexpected plot twists and turns we really are surprised by a grand finale that involves a robbery in fancy dress.
(*The continual confessions of a serial axe murderer to detectives who are too caught up in their own personal dramas to listen to him – or even notice his ever-increasing stash of body parts – is a backdrop to this tale and I’m almost inclined to find most funny of all.)