By Don Simpson | January 31, 2016
Director: Stéphane Géhami
Writer: Stéphane Géhami, Héloïse Masse
Starring: Frédéric Lemay, Louise Marleau, Hubert Proulx, Maxim Gaudette, Jean-Sébastien Courchesne, Pierre-Luc Brillant
After 23-year-old Cédric (Frédéric Lemay) is dumped by his girlfriend, he finds himself homeless with only an unfinished novel to call his own. It is the fateful lure of a piano that draws Cédric into a dilapidated old house owned by a 76-year-old Isabelle (Louise Marleau). Once a famous pianist, Isabelle is now a lonely alcoholic who surrounds herself with a group of artistically-minded tenants who seem to give her more grief than joy. Isabelle and Cédric immediately share an affinity for each other — an attraction that seems inadvisable considering that Isabelle does not believe in love and Cédric is obviously distraught from his recent breakup. Irregardless, Cédric moves into a room in the large house. This can only end badly.
Thus begins a strange May-December romance that is not necessarily strange because of the significant age differential, but because of their strong and distinct personalities. In fact, Stéphane Géhami’s My Enemies handles the stigmas and taboos surrounding their age disparity with elegance and grace, transforming it into an intelligent statement about the ageless beauty, talent and grace of renowned Québécois actress Louise Marleau. Using Marleau’s character Isabelle as an example, Géhami explains that actresses never lose the qualities that made them famous in their younger years. An actress such as Marleau should be able to play the love interest of a 23-year-old and have no one bat an eye.
My Enemies also functions as an homage to Émile Nelligan, a famed Québécois poet whose work Cédric and Isabelle share a mutual fondness. Géhami presents Cédric as a modern day Nelligan — an enfant terrible of sorts — no stranger to excess and lunacy. Reality and fantasy are blurred together in Cédric’s mind, as he confuses his novel with his life. Cédric’s work is driving him insane because it is constantly evolving and will never be finished.