R | 1h 38min | Drama, Comedy, Romance | 3 August 2002 (Switzerland)
Those who loved Graham yesterday shouldn’t count on today. Those who love him today risk being heartbroken tomorrow… Suffering from recurring memory loss, Graham is restricted to a limited short-term memory. He forgets most things after only a few minutes. He no longer recognizes his wife Isabelle nor his young son Antoine nor his best friend Fred. Since each day is a new day, Graham copes with life by referring to the details of his little notebook, the defining key to his identity. He works as a photocopy clerk under the close watch of his sexy boss Sabine, who uses him to his libido’s advantage. Pretty new temp Irene can’t help falling for Graham’s spontaneous charm. But how can Graham really fall in love with her when he sees each time as the first time? Irene is about to experience all new ways of romance. She’ll just have to remember everything for the both of them. Everyone around Graham has their reasons why he should or shouldn’t fully recover…
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)
Rated R for strong sexuality, graphic nudity and language
Jean Pierre Limosin has taken on a story interlacing memory, love, history, and passion that not only has pertinence in our galloping society of hasty encounters and transient relationships but also pleads a case for people with cognitive dysfunction. Unfortunately the film is marketed as a comedy and while there are some curious incidents that cause a bit of nervous laughter, this viewer sees the work as more of a difficult struggle for those affected by mental malfunctions that affect not only the patient but also those who surround him.
Graham/Pablo (the handsome and gifted Spanish actor Eduardo Noriega – ‘Burnt Money’, ‘Abre los ojos’, The Devil’s Backbone’, etc), though obviously bright and capable, works as a photocopy clerk for a large company, but suffers from memory loss, a deficit that prevents his remembering his wife Isabelle (Paz Vega) and son Antoine (Lény Bueno), his best friend Fred (Eric Caravaca), and his fellow coworkers. It also obscures his memory of flirtations and sexual encounters, including libidinous frequent seductions from his boss Sabine (Nathalie Richard). When a temporary worker Irene (Anna Mougalis) is hired Graham is told to show her the building and they end up on the roof in a passionate embrace – which of course Graham immediately forgets. But daily encounters with Irene gradually become so rich in passion that they somehow begin to register on Graham’s tabula rasa mind condition! Graham’s means of survival lies in the notebook attached to his wrist in which he keeps a diary of all events to remind him of each day’s events. This ‘artificial memory/identity’ provides information for Irene, for Fred, and for his doctors and each of them has reasons to use this diary to their own ends: Fred while supportive of his friend is actually in love with Isabelle, and Irene finds evidence of Graham’s affection for her that suggests to her a method of helping Graham restore his memory – and in doing so, possibly win his permanent allegiance to her.
There are some bumpy portions of this film that create confusion at times, but in retrospect one wonders if this might have been the intention of the director – placing us as viewers into the mindset of short term memory loss to better understand Graham’s plight! The cast is uniformly strong and Eduardo Noriega once again proves that he is completely capable of taking on a challenging role and finding the humanity within. Yes, there are some graphic sex scenes but they serve to intensify the flow of the story in view of the condition of Graham to whom every encounter has all the lust of a first encounter with an unknown lover! Recommended.
Director: Jean-Pierre Limosin
Writers: Christophe Honoré, Jean-Pierre Limosin
Stars: Eduardo Noriega, Anna Mouglalis, Paz Vega