It’s odd that The Artist won the Best Picture award at the Oscars. It shouldn’t have. Why? Because the Best Picture award is actually awarded to the Best Picture “in the English language”. Anything that’s not in English goes into the “Best Foreign Picture” category. The Artist, being a French picture shouldn’t have had a look in. It’s only because it was silent that it could even be nominated for the big prize. If anyone had uttered a word (well, maybe a sentence) it would have been relegated to the outer realms of the awards world. I guess next year we can look forward to more silent films from South Korea, Iran and South America.
Anyway, my point is that I’d never heard of Jean Dujardin (star of The Artist) until the film came along. It turns out he’s a piece of French culture worth knowing about. Not only has he made many other films, he also played Jean in the series Un Gars, Une Fille. Now, if you don’t know what this is, you must immediately go to YouTube and search for it. There are nearly 600 episodes so you should be able to find one or two.
Un Gars, Une Fille is a marvel if you want to understand contemporary French culture and learn colloquial French. I’ve been looking for something like this for ages. While I can perfectly understand endless hours of documentaries, the news and any politician, everyday chit-chat often leaves me lost. If you are in a similar position, watch Un Gars, Une Fille and learn! In short (six minutes or so) episodes we follow the lives of Alex and Jean, a typical(?) young French couple who endure all the usual pains and pleasures of living with a partner. I’ve long held the theory that the reason Chewy (aka Mr S) and me argue so little is because we have different native languages. We can’t argue because we don’t know the words in each other’s language. That may be about to change.
Since watching the series, I’ve realised that I’m still fa-a-ar too English to pass for a typical French girlfriend. In fact, I see now why Chewy likes me. This must also change – and it’s not about the language. I need to develop some attitude. Proper French girls are far less accommodating and much more stroppy than me. Out with the search for compromise and harmony, and in with a straightforward ‘tu m’énerves’ and ‘non’!