Montreal Film Journal


Vincent is a total jerk, the kind of guy who’ll say anything to a girl to get into her panties. “I don’t know you well but I think you’re special”, “My last girlfriend left me because I want kids and she didn’t”, bullshit like that. His girlfriend Anne is unaware of his indiscretions, which even include an unhealthy relationship with his sister Nathalie. And now Vincent has decided to open a dating agency, another scheme to take advantage of vulnerable women. When you add a subplot in which Vincent and his hotel manager buddy Richard teach a young boy about drinking, porno and money, you could say that “Des gars, des filles et un salaud” is sort of like Roger Dodger, even though it’s nowhere near that level of brilliance. The acting is uneven, the direction is uninspired, and the constant use of the same three or four tacky sets makes the film feel like an episode of “Virginie”, but with some welcomed nudity.

Still, the writing and some of the performances are okay and the Vincent character screenwriter Simon Boisvert wrote for himself is one you love to hate. The cast also includes Diana Lewis (who directed the film) and Natasha M. Leroux as ex-girlfriends of Vincent, Erwin Weche as a Black nice-guy and Caroline Brabant as his neurotic girlfriend who pretends she doesn’t like sex so he won’t bother her. And then you’ve got Paul Ahmarani as Eric, an employee of the dating agency who’s beyond wacked out. This is either the worst or the best performance in the film, whichever it is it’s hilarious!

All the couples in the movie are always arguing, which makes one wonder whether men and women might be too different to get along. Then again, maybe it’s about being mature enough to make compromises. You won’t find any further insights in “Des gars, des filles et un salaud”, but it’s good for a few laughs. It’s certainly no worse than the ridiculously overrated “Québec-Montréal”.