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Film / The Taste of Others

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The Taste of Others (French: Le Goût des autres) is a 2000 French comedy drama film, starring Agnès Jaoui, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Anne Alvaro, Alain Chabat, Gérard Lanvin and Christiane Millet. It was directed by Jaoui and written by Jaoui and Bacri

Jean-Jacques Castella (Bacri) is the boss of a factory. He is going to sign a contract with an Iranian company, so the insurance company hires a bodyguard, Franck (Lanvin), to protect him. Franck befriends with Bruno (Chabat), Castella's chauffeur. Castella also has to learn English, but he is not really interested. During the first lesson, he quickly gets rid of his private teacher Clara (Alvaro). Castella and his wife Angélique (Millet) are invited to see Bérénice (a tragedy by Jean Racine) because Castella's niece plays a small part in it. Clara, the English teacher, happens to play the leading part. Castella is charmed by her and falls in love with her during the performance. Franck and Bruno wait for Castella and his wife outside the theatre. Bruno goes to a bar to buy cigarettes and the barmaid, Manie (Jaoui), recognizes him because they slept together years ago.

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The Taste of Others provides examples of:

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Bruno's girlfriend does an internship abroad. She meets someone there and finally breaks up with Bruno. Besides Bruno cheated on her with Manie.
  • At the Opera Tonight: Castella falls in love with Clara during a performance of Bénénice. In the end, the fact that he attends a performance of Hedda Gabler shows that he still loves her.
  • The Casanova: At one point, Franck explains that he has made love with hundreds of different women. And this does not seem exceptional to him.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: In the beginning, Clara is haughty and dismissive of Castella, because he is uncultured. In the end, when she is afraid that she might have definitively lost him, she realizes that she has feelings for him. She rejoices when she sees Castella in the audience of her play.
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  • Hidden Depths: Castella is more than the boorish man he seems to be. He truly appreciates theatre and contemporary art.
  • Love Confession: Castella writes a poem in English to declare his love for Clara. She turns his affection down.
  • Opposites Attract:
    • Jean-Jacques Castella is a gruff, uncultured and affluent businessman. He falls in love with Clara, a sophisticated and starving actress. In the end, Clara realizes that she has feelings for him too.
    • Franck, an ex-cop turned bodyguard, falls in love with Manie, a barmaid who is also a drug dealer. Franck cannot stand the fact that she breaks the law. Subverted because they finally break up.
  • One Degree of Separation:
    • Castella is the boss of Bruno. Franck protects him. Clara is his private English teacher and Love Interest.
    • Bruno is Castella's chauffeur. He befriends Franck. He slept with Manie years ago.
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    • Franck protects Castella. He befriends Bruno. He starts a relationship with Manie.
    • Clara gives Castella English lessons. Manie sells her marijuana.
    • Manie slept with Bruno years ago. She starts a relationship with Franck. She sells marijuana to Clara.
  • Resign in Protest: Franck left the police because he was ordered to stop his investigation of a Corrupt Politician.
  • Shout-Out: Clara plays in Bérénice, a tragedy by Jean Racine. In the end, she plays in Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Castella tries to charm Clara, although he is married with Angélique, but he is portrayed positively, because Angélique is boring and only interested in her dog.
  • Waiting for a Break: Clara works as an English teacher because she does not make enough money as an actress.
  • You Make Me Sic: Castella writes a poem in English to declare his love for Clara, his English teacher. When she hears it, Clara is visibly embarrassed and then notes that there are some mistakes.

Alternative Title(s): Le Gout Des Autres

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