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99 Francs

Jean Dujardin in 99 Francs

99 Francs is French filmmaker Jan Kounen’s critique of consumer culture, based on the book of the same title by Frédéric Beigbeder. After 1 hour and 40 minutes of slick filmmaking, replete with ironic references to famous ad campaigns, beautiful people and lots of sex and drugs and rock & roll, the movie ends with a meek call to action stating that with a mere fraction of the money spent on advertising each year, we could put an end to world hunger. This astonishingly lame ending undermines any value the movie might have had.

I suppose the altruistic blurb at the end of the movie is the kind of palliative the filmmakers needed to include in order to convince themselves that their movie has a higher moral purpose. The question is, why do they even bother? In reality, it is just a story about a narcissistic, self-loathing fashion victim who sees the error of his ways. The great irony, of course, is that had they spent all their time and money on charitable projects instead of making this movie, they could have contributed much more to ending world hunger.

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