Netflix introduces a witty, yet dark rom-com in the form of I Am Not An Easy Man / Je ne suis pas un homme facile. The film follows Damien, a man who is highly familiar with the benefits of living in a patriarchal society. Soon after a bump to the head, Damien finds himself waking in what seems to be an alternate universe: a universe dominated by women. Confused and completely out of his comfort zone, Damien struggles to find his place in this foreign new world. Things soon become a little more complicated as he meets Alex, a headstrong author, and he begins to explore the world of romance from an all new perspective. Directed by Eleonore Pourriat, the movie debuted on Netflix on April 13, 2018.
I Am Not An Easy Man / Je ne suis pas un homme facile introduces us to an unparalleled chauvinistic protagonist in the form of Damien, a businessman, an entrepreneur and a ladies man. More comfortable than most in his own skin, Damien boasts unmatched confidence when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex. Flirting and womanising are his pass times, any, and all women are on his radar, ready to execute his cheesy chat up lines and exercise his male influence at every opportunity. Tragically Damien finds himself in a world controlled by women. No longer the voice of power nor having the same status he is accustomed to, Damien battles daily to come to terms with his new surroundings.
I Am Not An Easy Man took me by surprise; remarkably funny and astonishingly important. Although full of cliches and stereotypes, I Am Not An Easy Man battles many critical topics relevant to the modern man and woman. The hilarity of I Am Not An Easy Man comes in the form of overt demonstrations of cliches and scenarios that are usually reserved for designated gender roles. Women are now exclusively wearing suits, drinking beer, and wolf whistling to their hearts content; this new world has little place for male insecurity. Men are expected to succumb to female superiority and assume their place as society’s lessers. I Am Not An Easy Man demonstrates all of these stereotypes in a tongue and cheek fashion, with witty quips and relatable one-liners. All audiences alike will be entertained and many familiar with the situations that arise.
On a more serious note, Netflix film I Am Not An Easy Man playfully tackles issues and scenarios all too relevant to today’s society. It must be said that the themes addressed in I Am Not An Easy Man do not apply to all men, of course, the same way the female tropes in the film do not apply to all women. This sway in dynamics between the male and female characters on screen act to make an example of sexist individuals, those with poignant and outdated attitudes are mocked in a blush fashion. Making light of seemingly frivolous and all too common things such as catcalling, strip clubs and the male gaze (in this case the female gaze) from a flipped perspective makes for an interesting and thought provoking watch.
I Am Not An Easy Man is a comedy at heart, lending itself to recognising minute interactions between men and women from the other‘s perspective. It also sheds light on more meaningful topics, including gender, identity and personal expression, with heart warming scenes of understanding and acceptance. I Am Not An Easy Man could be influential in the world of representation and the discussion of gender role relevance to modern society. Our society becomes more and more open to freedom of expression and acceptance all the time, yet it is still riddled with discrimination and many may benefit from this film on a basic level. I also don’t want to go with out mentioning that I Am Not An Easy Man also addresses the issue of rape culture and consent, a very small yet significant nod to the darker side of locker room talk, shining the light on a sensitive topic in an honourable way.
With all being said I Am Not An Easy Man still has the same old cliches we have all come to know and expect from romantic comedies. I wish to say that flipping the gender roles comes with a completely original play, and yes in terms of power dynamics it kind of does, but we are still led with a girl meets boy scenario. The same old “I like this person more because they are playing hard to get” (think 10 Things I Hate About You) kind of narrative. On the contrary, I Am Not An Easy Man certainly makes up for any short comings with all too real observational comedy and whimsical comedic timing.
Vincent Elbaz and Marie-Sophie Ferdane play leading roles Damien and Alexandra. The pair work together harmoniously to deliver a unique and intriguing dynamic as they both dance to establish an order of power. I cannot go without mentioning Pierre Benezit, the hilarious best friend who offers advice and “boy talk” when needed to our protagonist. Benezit is exquisitely confident and his deliverance is nothing short of pure enjoyment.
Overall I highly recommend I Am Not An Easy Man / Je ne suis pas un homme facile, with it’s relatable humour and marvellous execution. I was incredibly entertained and far too often saw myself in the protagonist‘s shoes. An enjoyable film with plenty to offer, a great watch for discussion and topic awareness of patriarchal and feminism issues alike. Although touching on controversial subjects and opinions, I Am Not An Easy Man is still a typical rom-com, with enough light heart to maintain a cheery and amused disposition. Definitely worth a watch.