I Am Not An Easy Man

Damien is a chauvinist and a womanizer. He’s developed an app to enable his douchiness, and that of others: it tracks how much sex you’ve had, and an ever-growing penis marks the progress. It will not surprise you to know that Damien is disgusting to all the women in his life – personal and profession. He’s such an irrepressibly flirty bitch that one day he walks straight into a pole, incurring a head injury that’s going to send this film straight into Freaky Friday territory.

When Damien wakes up, it’s in an alternate universe – one in which women have always been the dominant sex. Suddenly women are treating him the way he treated them – and he doesn’t like it! Not one bit. Everything is backwards – his colleagues are mostly female, and it’s not even fun because they talk openly about periods and don’t shave and are condescending, and the men have to eat quinoa and watch their figures.

At times I could hardly tell whether this film was subversive or offensive, and I suppose i-am-not-an-easy-man-2018they were toeing a very thin line. Still, it was hard for me not to be offended by some of the stereotypes, and I’m sure that men would feel the same. But it’s not until you’re fully submersed in this alternate world that you start to appreciate how ridiculous it all feels, and how the inverse, which is the world in which we live every day, must be equally ridiculous. Except we accept it because it’s what we know. It’s not just about income equality, or splitting household chores – it’s both bigger and smaller and more all-encompassing than that.

The movie is occasionally quite funny, the satire intelligent and well-aimed. But it’s not always so successful. And the truth is, neither protagonist is likeable or even sympathetic. Damien has woken up in a different world but it doesn’t change him, and he doesn’t seem to learn from it. He’s appalled to be treated like the weaker sex but has no sense of irony regarding his previous (and frankly, current) behaviour. In fact, he has the gall to reminisce about being the oppressor. Of course he does.

Je ne suis pas un homme facile is a French film streaming on Netflix right now, and besides the laughs it’s got a pretty blatant message – let it hit you like a penis slap to the face. As if you needed one.

 

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17 thoughts on “I Am Not An Easy Man

  1. J.

    You have to wonder why someone thinks a) that there’s a need for this type of flick and b) having some satire in there makes it worthwhile/ makes a difference. Seriously, though… who are the audience?

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  2. Liz A.

    Sometimes over-the-top is what people need to get the message. This sounds a bit like a Star Trek: TNG episode where they end up on a world where the women are the dominant gender. Although, the characters on TNG were allegedly more enlightened…

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  3. Christopher

    Once in response to a story about harassment I made an unthinking comment about how it amazes me women still have to deal with it. A woman replied, “Congratulations on your white penis.” It stung but it was a penis-slap to the face that I needed and deserved. I’m not sure this film goes far enough but may not be a bad start.

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  4. indiefan20

    I’ve never heard of this movie, but it doesn’t sound like my cup of tea. Nice review though. It’s interesting to me that the male lead doesn’t seem to have a character arc, the movie sounds like it was setting him up for one.

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  5. Kimberly

    I just watched this film and it blew my mind. It is true that neither protagonist evolves or changes during the film, but I think that makes the message even more powerful because that’s what we feel should happen, and it never does. Even though the roles where completely reversed, Damien doesn’t see the irony of his past behavior or have a mighty change of heart. That sounds familiar to me. So many men and women can see the power imbalance between genders, but we usually just shrug and keep to ourselves and keep scrolling through our social media feeds. What made this film so impressive to me is that they paid attention to so many details that the “alternate world” felt real. It made me see so many things I hadn’t before and allowed me to turn off my everyday cultural filter and see how ridiculous social norms based on gender are.

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