Anais spends half the movie rushing at breakneck speed down sidewalks, up stairs, across fields, down hallways, in and out of elevators (she’s severely claustrophobic), always half an hour late for everything (and sometimes she doesn’t show up for everything). She barely apologizes for keeping people waiting. She just rushes past, chatting non-stop. No one can get in a word, not even the visibly annoyed landlady who wants to know why Anais is two months behind on rent. Anais is so sure of her «charms» that other people’s obvious displeasure doesn’t seem to bother her. She says her way out of everything.
How can you play such a character without looking like an incorrigible narcissist? Demoustier somehow succeeds. She is natural and open. She doesn’t promote the character as an idea or concept, and that’s very important because Anais is written to be a «type,» a terrible «manic pixie dream girl» who flits through lives making people stop and smell. roses, learning to love, etc. But Demoustier plays her in a different way. In addition, manic pixie dream girls are usually seen through the eyes of male characters who adore them. This story is told from Anais’ point of view.
The film opens with Anais’ life in ruins. Her boyfriend Raoul (Christophe Montenez) has moved out, and Anais worries out loud – to people who know her and people who don’t – that she may not be capable of loving someone. Raul’s nickname for her is, appropriately, «Big Tractor» and at one point he tells her, «You don’t understand what human interaction is.» He wasn’t wrong! Anais (Anne Canovas)’s mother has cancer and it’s not good. Anais’ dissertation on the passions in 17th-century literature is at a dead end. It’s hard to imagine how Anais goes to the library, sits quietly, reads a book, takes notes. Her graduate tutor gives her organizational tasks and then (understandably) gets annoyed when Anais blows things up.