FILM REVIEW / OPINION – “I love what you do”, by Philippe Guillard, happily confronts Gérard Lanvin with a clumsy fan, played by Artus, on the location of a shoot.
We may have the fans we deserve
The relationship fans have with their idols has often been treated from the angle of thriller and grip. We think in particular of American films Misery by Rob Reiner, The Fan of Tony Scott or to My idol by Guillaume Canet. In I love what you do , the director Philippe Guillard proposes to approach the subject via comedy, and it’s quite successful. The star is Gérard Lanvin in his own role. The fan is Momo Zapareto (Artus), who meets his idol while he is repairing the swimming pool of the house that Gérard occupies during a shoot.
Philippe Guillard has already filmed Gérard Lanvin (Jo’s Son , Grandpa Sitter) and it is assumed that the actor was a major inspiration for the screenplay, although he is not credited in it. He is thus presented as solitary and grumpy and the director had the good idea not to make him more sympathetic than that. The process of making an actor play his own role is not new (In the skin of Malkovich by Spike Jonze or Jean Philippe by Laurent Tuel). But the focus here is on feelings and behaviors of the character played by the actor.
Because if I love what you do questions quite intelligently about the relationship of the fans to their idol, it is above all the very relationship of the idol to his fans that is evoked. The director thus plays subtly with the reputation of Gérard Lanvin in the collective unconscious and pays him a nice tribute. Philippe Guillard thus stages him in very funny situations about the embarrassment caused, even the amazement, of the actor in the face of the requests for selfies, then the excesses that follow.
Encounter between a silent and a verbose
We see the actor hesitating between kindness and firmness as to his way of reacting to this whirlwind caused by Momo. If he gets angry, he knows that it risks damaging his image and if he doesn’t say anything, the other takes the opportunity to go even further.. Because in the name of his pseudo closeness, the one who has become his assistant allows himself to push the limits of propriety ever further, without any restraint.
The director circumscribed the purpose of his film during the shooting of a historical film, genre in which we are a little less used to seeing Gérard Lanvin play. Although the chance of the programming has just seen him interpret a hero of the Second World War in Children of the Righteous by Fabien Onteniente, released directly on France Télévisions. Besides, the other good idea of the film, is to show behind the scenes and the American way of working on a set, with a rather critical eye.
An abyss of cinema
The character of Gérard Lanvin is shown weakened by the particular working method of Canadian director Bob Martel (Antoine Bertrand). The actor finds himself sandwiched between these two shameless characters that echo each other. Impeded in his own concentration, we even see him questioning himself. Because if he managed to bring a makeup artist friend (Caroline Bourg) on the set, Gérard is very alone. Of his personal life, we see nothing, we do not even know if he exchanges with his family.
His reactions to the intrusion into his life of the naïve Momo are therefore essentially perceptible in his gaze, his pouts and the remarks he makes to himself. The empathetic spectator lives all the better the feelings of this character that he guesses the pleasure of Gérard Lanvin to play them. Even if the director sometimes pushes the envelope a little far, I love what you do therefore allows to demystify with humor and good-naturedness the limits of the relationship between a fan and his idol.
I love what you do by Philippe Guillard, in theaters on May 18, 2022 . Above the trailer. Find all our trailers here.