In Gay Paree, everybody wants bisexual lawyer Alain (Pascal Greggory). His senior partner (Nathalie Richard) is having his baby. Young, eager Christophe (Cyrille Thouvenin) wants to get into his pants. Alain is also doin' the nasty with a client suspected of murder, Marc (Vincent Martinez), as well as Marc's super-blas hairdresser girlfriend, Babette (Julie Gayet).

Eet ees all so vairy French, you see, and more zan a leetle tiresome. First off, as morosely played by Greggory, narcissistic Alain just doesn't seem all that desirable, apart from an admirably muscled torso. That is so often the problem with these "He's all that" premises. Now if Vincent Martinez's brother, Olivier, had been cast as Alain, the whole thing might have made more sense. The cast of Confusion of Genders gamely goes about their lusty business, shedding trou and skirt all over the sets, but, for a movie about sex, it's all decidedly unsexy. All that huffing and puffing is, sadly, entirely lacking in eroticism. (Bulle Ogier, however, does briefly cut through with some blessed common sense in one scene.)

And then there are too many flat conversations about love, and what it does and doesn't mean. (Those French talk a tough, cynical line, with all those Gauloises dangling from their lips, but they really all just want to be cuddled.) A century ago, playwright Arthur Schnitzler covered similar ground, and his work remains infinitely fresher and more incisive than this. Confusion of Genders ends with the birth of the baby, who, given such a self-absorbed, navel-gazing daddy, one already wants to weep for.

--David Noh