Article published on Oct. 24, 2007
Article published on Oct. 24, 2007
Paris, 2001. Oscar is a very successful publicist, whose life is divided between cocaine, girls and easy money. Despite of all that, he's about to go through a period of doubts following a split with his girlfriend.

Oscar, the character imagined by Frédéric Beigbeder in his novel "99F", is interpreted by Jean Dujardin while Jan Kounen is in charge of the direction. The over media exposed F. Beigbeder could not help himself from doing brief apparitions during the film.

With such a casting, a story mixing the trendy world of advertising, drug, sex and provocation, added with an anti-culture consumerism, was it really possible to muff the film?

The result is uncertain but some aspects make us have a good time: we like the visual effects of the film, of which we are not used to with French cinema.

Other positive points: a rather original scenario that respects the novel of which it is originally from and some great scenes. For example, after Oscar's split, learning that his girlfriend is pregnant, the screenwriter has imagined the way of spliting of men from different countries to whom girlfriends announce the same news, with an unforgettable Spanish man asking "shall we be amigo?" among the reactions.

But the overplayed side of the arrogance of the character is regrettable. We already have to cope with enough arrogant people in our everyday life, do we have to pay to suffer them again on screen? Moreover, the film looks a bit late in those days when advertising and outrageousness consuming culture are already widely reconsidered by other films and documentaries.

In conclusion, some shock images remind us that only a part of the international advertising investments could reduce hunger in the world by a half. That's a bit hard to swallow – if I can say – when we have had to suffer the film promotion through public notices all over the city…

More to be seen than not to be missed, 99F remains a fairly good film. However we can wonder if it's worth spending 9€ on a movie ticket, while we can wait until it is on TV to laugh to see a "anti-advert" film interrupted by advertisements….

Guillaume De Pauw

Translation: Sophie Janod