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Film / Betty Blue

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Betty Blue (original title: 37° 2 le matin, "37°C, 2 in the morning") is a 1986 film from France, directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix.

The oddly named Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) is a would-be writer who is eking out a living as a handyman, maintaining some beach cottages in Gruissan, on the south coast of France. He is having an affair with Betty (Béatrice Dalle) who at age 19 is eleven years younger than he is. The relationship is a passionate one, but Betty starts acting erratically. After an argument with Zorg, she trashes the house they are living in. After an argument with Zorg's boss, their landlord, she burns the house down. They escape to Paris, where Betty continues to act as Zorg's unofficial agent, pushing his manuscript. Meanwhile, her behavior grows more violent and deranged.

Film debut of Béatrice Dalle. Originally two hours long, it got a director's cut in 2005 that ran three hours and five minutes. The trope list below is based on the director's cut.



  • Baby Carriage: Zorg has to slam on the brakes of the delivery truck as a woman with a baby carriage trundles past.
  • Dirty Old Man: A throwaway joke with Zorg's neighbor on the beach, an elderly man who shows him the centerfold from a nudie magazine.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Betty gets behind the wheel of the car Zorg just acquired. When she isn't grinding the gear box she's zooming down the road at high speeds and swerving in and out of her lane into the opposite lane. Finally she yanks the car off the road and says she's never driving it again, much to Zorg's relief.
  • Erotic Eating: Deliberately invoked by Betty, who suggestively slurps on a rather phallic popsicle.
  • Erotic Film: Lots and lots of sex in this movie.
  • Eye Scream: Mercifully, not shown. But Zorg comes home one day to find blood spattered all over the compartment. Turns out that Betty poked out her own eye.
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  • Fan Disservice: All the Béatrice Dalle nudity takes on another context later in the film, when Zorg finds a nude Betty in the shower, in a near-catatonic state. When he snaps her out of it she tells him she's hearing voices.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: Zorg plodding home in the pouring rain after killing Betty.
  • Hearing Voices: A sign towards the end of the film that Betty's mental state is going from shaky to something worse.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Betty gets crazier and crazier. Usually these moments are triggered when she's taking up for Zorg. When Zorg's boss is hassling him about not doing enough work on the beach cabins, Betty pushes him out a window.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Several times, like when a naked Zorg and Betty are futzing around with a fold-out couch.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Deconstructed with Betty. She hits most of the notes of the MPDG—fun-loving, madcap, sexy, dedicated to the hero, generally zany and unpredictable—but her zaniness and unpredictability takes a very dark and violent form, with Betty given to violent rages. Eventually she has a complete mental breakdown.
  • Mercy Kill: Zorg smothers a catatonic Betty to death.
  • Mood-Swinger: Betty is unable to control her emotions. Sometimes she is madly passionate. Sometimes she gets angry, and when she gets angry she does stuff like set houses on fire and punch her arm through a glass window.
  • Mood Whiplash: A drunken bacchanal with Zorg, Betty, Eddy, and Eddy's girlfriend Lisa that looks like it's about five minutes away from becoming A Party, Also Known as an Orgy is suddenly interrupted when Eddy gets news that his mother has died. Then we cut to Eddy getting dressed, and putting on the only tie he owns...which has a picture of a naked woman on it.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Betty pretty much spends the whole movie naked, semi-naked, or in some sort of revealing clothing.
    Roger Ebert: Betty Blue is a movie about Beatrice Dalle's boobs and behind, and everything else is just what happens in between the scenes where she displays them.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Barkeeping: Guess what the bartender's doing when Zorg slips out after a stressful evening for a drink? Is he knitting? No. Is he carving a wooden ship? No, guess again...
  • Revenge Is a Dish Best Served: Zorg deals with a difficult customer at Eddy's pizza place by replacing her pizza toppings with an assortment of items from the garbage, topped off with cigarette ash.
  • Sanity Slippage: Betty, unstable to begin with, starts going rapidly downhill after finding out that she isn't pregnant after all.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: How dedicated is Betty to Fanservice? This is how she dresses as a pizza parlor waitress.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Betty likes to go out and about wearing a Little Black Dress and nothing else.
  • A Storm Is Coming: The first line of the movie. "I had known Betty for a week. We made love every night. The forecast called for storm."
  • Vorpal Pillow: Zorg smothers a catatonic Betty to death.