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French Twist
Directed by Josiane Balasko
Produced by Pierre Grunstein
Claude Berri
(executive producer)
Written by Josiane Balasko
Patrick Aubrée
Telsche Boorman (story)
Starring Victoria Abril
Josiane Balasko
Alain Chabat
Ticky Holgado
Music by Manuel Malou
Cinematography Gérard de Battista
Editing by Claudine Merlin
Kako Kelber (co-editor)
Distributed by AMLF (France)
Miramax Zoë (USA)
Release date(s) 8 February 1995 (France)
19 January 1996 (USA)
Running time 104 min
Country France
Language French

French Twist, also known as Gazon maudit, is a 1995 French comedy film. It was written and directed by co-star Josiane Balasko.

Contents

Synopsis

Laurent (Alain Chabat) and Loli (Victoria Abril) are a thirty-ish married couple living in southern France with their young child. He is an estate agent; she is a housewife. Laurent has extramarital affairs.

Loli is unaware that her husband is unfaithful. Then one day, a campervan breaks down in front of their house. The driver is Marijo (Josiane Balasko), a 40s-ish butch lesbian who works as a plumber. She asks to use their phone. Loli has a blocked sink, so in exchange for using the phone, Marijo gets Loli's drain back in working order. Loli and Marijo begin an affair. Laurent is upset, but then his friend Antoine (Ticky Holgado) accidentally reveals Laurent's philandering to Loli. This seems to justify her romance. Marijo moves into the house.

Antoine then suggests that Laurent let Loli have her way, cease all hostility, and wait for the affair to burn out. Laurent agrees, and the household becomes a seemingly idyllic ménage à trois. But his strategy has its effect, especially after another lesbian couple, old friends of Marijo, happen by. Laurent welcomes them, but Loli becomes annoyed and jealous.

Marijo decides that the situation is not really going to work. She knows that Laurent wants her to leave. While Loli is away on a trip, Marijo makes a deal with Laurent. She will break up with Loli and leave immediately, if Laurent will give her something she has wanted for years: a baby. Laurent has sex with Marijo to get her pregnant, and Marijo departs before Loli returns. Laurent tells Loli nothing, as agreed with Marijo.

Laurent and Loli settle back down to their old life, but their relationship has been deeply affected. Then Loli hears from a mutual acquaintance that Marijo is living in Paris and is several months pregnant. Loli is astonished and shocked. She insists that she and Laurent go to Paris and contact Marijo. They find her working as a DJ in a lesbian dance club. Their intrusion provokes a quarrel with the club owner, who fires Marijo. Loli and Laurent take her back to their home, where she has her baby.

The ménage à trois is re-established, with the two mothers caring for their children.

Cast

Awards

Gazon maudit won Josiane Balasko the César Award for Best Writing in 1996.

The film was also one of the 53rd Golden Globe Awards nominees in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.

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