I really enjoyed the French film ‘The Story Of My Life’, directed by Laurent Tirard. It is a shame it has taken so long to get here as it was released in France in 2004.
The storyline is a familiar one, a thirties something man goes on a journey of self discovery. This version features Raphael, a man who is in a rut in his life. He does not know what he wants romantically, and is bored in his journalistic career.
Raphael works as a ghostwriter, writing up the life stories of dull, uninspiring celebrities whose stories he unashamedly embellishes. He holds dreams of making it himself as a writer, and years ago wrote a novel which he has kept locked away in a cupboard. When he tells his girlfriend Muriel
about his ‘hidden’ novel she won’t get off his case. It starts getting at Raphael, he has felt like an imposter all the time he has been a ghostwriter. Now it really is the time to go for becoming a real writer!
‘The Story of My Life’ was a good example of satirical, playful, romantic, and freewheeling cinema. My favourite ingredients…I loved the quirky character stories, well played by the cast. Raphael is a bit of a Hamlet character, a bit bumbling, incredibly indecisive and awkward. There’s one of Raphael’s clients, soccer star Kevin. He’s a bizarre, dorky character who rattles Raphael with his demands, including wanting to write his story ala Charles Baudelaire. There’s Raphael’s old flame, Claire, a sophisticated woman who doesn’t know what she wants.
I loved the films’ satirical tone. Broad satire is aimed at the shallow world of star biographies. It is all about pleasing the star, and Raphael’s editor is always on his back to make sure that he appeases their wishes.
Most of all, I enjoyed the film’s playful, unpredictable, good natured style. Scenes go one way, and then another, not always making perfect sense but adding to the film’s charm.