By Dennis Tavernetti
“Women on the 6th Floor” from The World Series presented by Emerging Pictures in HD at USCB Center For the Arts Monday, March 19 at 7 p.m.
Synopsis: Paris, 1960. Jean-Louis lives a bourgeois existence absorbed in his work, cohabitating peacefully with his neurotic socialite wife Suzanne, while their snobby children are away at boarding school. The couple’s world is turned upside-down when they hire a Spanish maid, Maria. Through Maria, Jean-Louis is introduced to an alternative reality just a few floors up on the building’s sixth floor, the servants’ quarters. He befriends a group of sassy Spanish maids, who teach him there’s more to life than stocks and bonds. The women’s influence on the house brings change, lots of humor and conflict. Life will never be the same, and that isn’t a bad thing.
Ratings & Reviews: The two leading film websites give this film an IMDb rating of 7.1 and Rotten Tomatoes critics rating of 67 and audience of 65. Good marks and an indication of wide appeal. Roger Ebert said: “… a pleasant movie, even-tempered romantic fantasy”; L.A. Times wrote: “The French have a knack for it. They’ve been making funny and agreeable movie farces forever, and I hope they never stop”; NY Times mused: “…was designed for the gentle laughter it easily earns”; and Wall Street Journal analyzed: “…a fairy-tale version of ‘The Help.’ ”
Previewer’s Comment: This World film in French with English subtitles reminds us to lighten up and that we are not as important as we think! Is it a delightful French comedy which relies on wit and acting ability to delight the audience. It also reveals a social structure in 1960‘s France where it was easier to hire foreign help to do menial tasks, than native French. Doesn’t every French woman have better things to do than clean bidets? The foreign workers maybe upstairs and the building’s owners downstairs, but the differences and social separation are just as justified by society norms. It is much fun to see how this stereotype view of classes crumbles with humorous and lasting results.
Rated: Unrated, but can be considered likely to be PG-13.
Preshow Interview: Join our host and his guest, Helen Baumeister, at 6:40 p.m. for a short 15 minutes of discussion regarding the French culture and social norms. Ms. Baumeister is a well-known artist who frequently immerses herself in France and the French culture. Feel free to take your seat during the interview.
Tickets for adults are $8, seniors $7, students $6. Call USCB Center for the Arts box office at 843-521-4145 or purchase day of performance. Box office opens one hour prior to show time.
Dennis Tavernetti is a resident of St. Helena Island who retired to the Lowcountry having a lifelong interest in the arts. He encouraged USCB‘s Center for the Arts to investigate the possibility of bringing Indie, World and Documentary HD films to Beaufort.