by Valeria Chiari
21/11/2002 - A bowl of broth every two days for a total of three bed-ridden days. Eating one specific type of food for an entire week and choosing between carrots, salad, cucumber or apples. As if that were not enough, the programme also includes regular electro-stimulation sessions to firm the flesh, aquagym sessions mould the figure and purifying saunas.
The title of Florence Quentin’s new film is Che fame! (I’m starving!) and it’s scheduled to hit our theatres later this month. The outline of the plot is as follows, poor curvaceous Lily (played by the voluptuous is abandoned by her fiancé and she and her best friend become convinced that he has gone off with the whipped-thin, sensual and extremely glamorous Anais played by Alessandra Martines.
This film is not just about extreme diets but is a well-studied strategy to “eliminate” the competition. That also includes anonymous phone calls, ruinous break-ins and terrible multi-coloured insults iced onto beautiful birthday cakes come in.
“Jealousy is woman. We all know that,” said the French director at this morning’s press conference in Rome. I’m starving! was released last year in France and Belgium and was produced by Gaumont with TF1 and Canal+. “Women become even more creative when in the throes of jealousy. We manage to do unimaginable things, especially if we listen to our best friends’ advice.”
Meanwhile, Lily’s diet kicks in, she begins to lose weight and her errant fiancé wants to come back to her.
But is slimness really so important? “Not at all. There are women who confuse seduction with authentic problems experienced by a couple. They prefer to worry about their figures and make their lives into a living hell instead of facing reality.”
Quentin employs the instrument of comedy to portray the fear, that becomes more and more irrational, that the overwhelming majority of women experience when faced with media role models. “Girls are being hospitalised because they are determined to do everything in their power to look like Cindy Crawford or Elle McPherson. But thank God there is more to life than energy drinks and slim line meals.”
Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures and the reality is that Lily adores food, even though she overeats when depressed or sad. “I dont’ think that giving up food is the answer. I think you have to respect and trust your body.” This dietetic comedy is also Florence Quentin’s directorial debut and it has all the subtle irony of a film like Life is a Long Quiet River and Happiness is in the Field that she wrote the screenplays for.