Me, Myself and Mum
Identity is not concrete, yet many people need labels in order to understand themselves and those around them – something Guillaume Galliene has to deal with from a young age. The original title of this movie was Les Garçons et Guillaume, à Table! (which translates to “Boys and Guillaume, to the Table!”): an everyday call that sets Guillaume apart from his brothers, not a boy but a girl in his mother’s eyes. This coming-of-age comedy deals with feminine identity being thrust upon a young man – an identity decided for him by his family before he can define himself.
Guillaume’s mother wanted a daughter and so treats him like her little girl. When his brothers go on sporting holidays, Guillaume is sent elsewhere in pursuit of more “feminine” activities. Guillaume worships his mother and is happy in his effeminacy; much to his father’s despair, he finds joy in imitating the women around him and is in awe of their ways. Such behaviour is interpreted by his family as a sign of homosexuality.
The audience watches as Guillaume struggles to understand himself: is he a boy/girl/man/homosexual/heterosexual? He just doesn’t know. Throughout his adventures, his psyche conjures up his mother – played wonderfully by Galliene in drag – to help him navigate various obstacles, including a scene in which Diane Kruger administers an unaware Guillaume an enema.
Through a series of comedic and awkward incidents, the film follows a young Guillaume from school through adolescence to manhood. It’s a difficult search for a sense of self, from understanding the homosexual identity his family have decided for him to discovering one he can only form himself.
Galliene’s oddball humour is charming, but at points the film reduces groups to clichéd stereotypes, such as the quirky British and the homosexuals he encounters in a misunderstood call to a gangbang. In a film that is trying to highlight the dangers of branding someone based on stereotypical behaviour, such representations contradict the overall intention. A man can be effeminate but not homosexual; apart from in Guillaume, however, this message seems to be lost.
Me, Myself and Mum is a comic and charming song to a complicated childhood that provided Guillaume Galliene with all the tools he needed to become the man and actor he is today. It is, however, a shame that the message it attempts to convey is not fully realised.
Me, Myself and Mum is released nationwide on 5th December 2014.
Watch the trailer for Me, Myself and Mum here: