To Each, Her Own (Les goûts et les couleurs) is a French film now on Netflix. I found the main character irritating in numerous ways, but stuck with it to the end to see what she would finally do. What she finally did was irritating, too.
There are major spoilers ahead.
Simone Benloulou (Sarah Stern) has lived for 3 years with her girlfriend Claire (Julia Piaton). She’s never come out to her parents, although her brother is gay and he’s come out. Simone’s Jewish family is planning a wedding for Simone’s oldest brother and everything happens with wedding plans in the background. Simone wants to bring Claire to the wedding but she can’t get the words about about Claire being her girlfriend.
Simone claims she’s been a lesbian since age 11. Yet one day she’s suddenly attracted to a Senegalese chef named Wali (Jean-Christophe Folly). She has sex with him. He’s a Muslim and everyone in his family, including himself, is anti-Semitic.
Simone confesses to Claire and says she loves her and asks for forgiveness. Claire throws her out. She tells Wali they can only be friends but continues to have sex with him. At no time in the movie does anyone use the word bisexual.
Simone communicates with people about as well as a block of wood. She reunites with Claire and then chases Wali down at his parents house and tells him she wants to be with him.
Simone goes to the wedding alone. Claire comes in one door. Wali comes in another. She kisses them both in front of her parents and they motor off together on Wali’s scooter, apparently a happy threesome.
I found the idea that Claire and Wali would just accept the idea the newly configured relationship with no discussion ridiculous. I also found it strange that a film that was apparently (I say apparently, because I’m not really sure) about a bisexual woman discovering her bisexuality never had Simone even voice the notion that she was bi.
The film seemed to say that bisexuals want to be with both sexes at the same time, which isn’t true. Most bisexuals are monogamous. Or was the film about a woman who discovers she loves two people at the same time? That’s a totally different thing.
I wasn’t so much irritated by what happened in the film, as I was by the lack of clarity about what happened from the main character. She wanders the streets in a daze and apologizes to a light pole when she accidentally bumps into one without realizing it isn’t another person.
To Each, Her Own (Les goûts et les couleurs) was written and directed by Myriam Aziza. There were many promising elements in the film – coming out, bisexuality, Jewish/Muslim relationships, parenting, polyamory – but none of those potential plot points really hit the mark.
Kiss 92.5 listed it as one of the LGBTQ movies you must see on Netflix during pride month. I think you’d be happier with one of their other choices.
The preview on Netflix has English subtitles, but I couldn’t find one with subtitles to share here. Now’s the time to polish up your French.