La Salle de Bain (1989)

Genres - Comedy, Comedy Drama  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - France   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Clarke Fountain

Based on the philosophical novel by Jean-Philippe Toussaint (who also wrote the screenplay), this black and white drama follows "the man" (Tom Novembre) in his abstracted wanderings. At first, for no apparent reason, "the man" decides he is going to live only in the bathroom of his apartment (clothed). Perhaps he wants the isolation he might find there. His solitude destroyed by a bevy of friends, some housepainters hired by his girlfriend, and his family, our philosophical hero makes his way to a nondescript hotel room in Venice, where he spends his time playing darts in his room. When his girlfriend visits him there, he responds to this interruption of his musings by briefly using her forehead as a dartboard. Eventually he returns to his Paris apartment, and reconciles with his injured girlfriend. The actor Novembre has been compared with Buster Keaton, and for many reviewers, his deadpan performance lifts this odd movie out of the obscurity it might otherwise deserve.