Taste of Others, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: -2 1/2

When French businessman Castella (Jean-Pierre Bacri) finds himself in the midst of an international business deal, his partner decides he needs to learn English. Castella is completely uninterested, and even tells his appointed teacher, Clara (Anne Alvaro), that he hasn’t decided to go through with it yet. That is, until he sees Clara acting the lead in a local theatrical production. Clara mesmerizes him, which encourages Castella to not only learn English from her, but also to spend time with her more artistically-minded friends. At the same time, Manie (Agnes Jaoui), a free-spirited barmaid/drug dealer begins a relationship with Franck (Gerard Lanvin), a straight-laced bodyguard who has trouble with commitment and seeing things through. The lives of these four and others intersect as each character receives a ‘taste’ of another. With its depth of characterization and strong screenplay that seamlessly combines poignancy and comedy, this French film definitely earned its nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film. It should be a rousing success on the American art house circuit.

The general overriding theme of the film seems to be embracing the humanity of people in our lives, even when they seem vastly different. While it’s easy to dismiss or avoid people with differences, the film echoes the Christian teaching to accept the people we encounter – even those with different views and behavior. Of course, it is nave to think that different kinds of people will always agree. But loving one’s neighbor (embracing them), regardless of a particular position on issues, should always be the Christian response. However, even as it presents this encouraging message, the film includes its share of foul language in the subtitles, including many obscenities. A couple of implied premarital sex scenes and some sexually explicit dialogue along with scenes showing marijuana use as acceptable further spoil THE TASTE OF OTHERS.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Miramax Films, 375 Greenwich, NY, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (9) times – Mild 5, moderate 4

Obscene Language: Many (31) times - F-word 10, s-word 16, other 5

Profanity: Few (4) times – Regular 3 (G 2, C); Exclamatory 1 (MG)

Violence: Few times – Mild and moderate (man thrown against wall, implied hit with bat off camera/ results seen afterwards, woman shoots herself as part of theatrical play)

Sex: Few times – Implied (unmarried couples in bed)

Nudity: Once (side female breast and rear in artworks in apartment); Near Nudity – Few times (women show cleavage)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (discussions of past sexual encounters, comments about considering who to have sex with)

Drugs: Many times (smoking, alcohol, marijuana sell and use)

Other: Telling truth promoted by showing negative consequences of lying, urination scene

Running Time: 112 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.