Fat Girl is a French film with English subtitles about two sisters from opposite ends of the physical spectrum; both looking for a boy to love and both with different perspectives on how to find and keep one. Anais Reboux plays 13 year old Anais and Roxane Mesquida plays Elena, her older sister. Elena is the typical beautiful slim girl who looks like a runway model and catches the eyes of boy and men. Anais is the fat girl who everyone tries to avoid. She doesn't fall into the typical mold but is definitely a pretty girl with rosy cheeks and pink lips. She would rather be floating in the water than anywhere else.
They live outside of Paris and are vacationing at residence with their parents. They meet a young man named Fernando, a Law student from Rome, at an outdoor café where Elena orders coffee and Anais orders a banana split. Fernando becomes immediately intimate with the flirtatious Elena as they make-out in the café in front of Anais who continues to eat and to watch with a glare in her eyes. Elena ditches her sister to go for a corvette ride with her new beau.
The story has no clear plot other than to provide a look into these young girls' lives along with a side dish of shock factor. The relationship between these two sisters is highly emotional. Many of the scenes have food of some sort in them. Elena spends a lot of her waking hours belittling Anais in front of others with comments like, "It's simple, she eats like a pig. It's all she does." Their father agrees with Elena. Her incredibly beautiful mother defends Anais saying it's only hormonal. For the most part Elena is disgusted by her sister and uses every opportunity to show it. But then on a dime she quickly changes face, like when she begins feeding Anais at breakfast when she finds her crying; in an attempt to help appease Anais for being mean to her. It is easy to love one and hate the other but then these sudden moments of sublime closeness make you rethink your conclusions.
One of the longest scenes in the film is when Fernando sneaks into the girls' room to lie in bed with Elena. Anais listens to them talk about sex and watches them fool around. When Elena changes her mind the older guy continues to pressure the young virgin. He threatens to get an older girl if he doesn't get any "proof of love" and after much frustration finally talks her into letting him take her from behind. The whole bedroom scene is very long and we only see glimpses of Anais. The film should really be called Fat Girl's Sister. Fernando returns another night and Elena finally has sex with him while Anais cries in the next bed.
When the secret relationship is discovered the girls are carted home by their mother. The scenes of them driving home seemed to go on forever too. Their mother is not a good driver so they find opportunities to stop along the way: a clothing shop, park...
The cinematography in Fat Girl is full of lovely colours and wide angle shots of Anais watching. Red and light green are recurring colors throughout the film (swimsuit, dress, scarf, night gown). Overall, Fat Girl is a strange film which focuses on the love-hate relationship that can be present with some sisters (I've seen it). And the secrets that sisters often conceal about one another. It is a film about desire, acceptance, love, hate, change, sex and violence. It has a horrific ending I was not expecting which I guess is the point but still it left me with a sick feeling. Don't watch Fat Girl expecting to find some fat-positive inspirational movie. It's not. It is dramatic, artistic and definitely crosses the bounds of comfort with its sexuality and violence.
Fat Girl is available from Amazon.com.
Fat Girl is available from Amazon.ca.