A 60 year-old bar hostess finds it hard to give up her lifestyle when the promise of a new life beckons. Screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Eligible for the Camera d'Or.
The Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival opened today, with French/German film Party Girl, a first time feature film about a perenially soused flirt who harbors a pathological fear of settling down.
Angelique Litzenburger plays the good time girl of the title, a 60-something chain smoker who jobs as a hostess at a cabaret lounge at the German border. Her role seems vaguely defined but it appears to hinge on her ability to convince male patrons to stump for a bottle of expensive champagne, take a booth and make friendly small talk, whilst looking at pole dancers bump and grind to a lime green laser light show.
Angelique loves her job, partly because of the camaraderie she shares with the tight-knit group of dancers, but mostly because she gets paid to drink and dance.
This particular woman under the influence is what you might euphemistically call a ‘faded beauty’ (her grandkids laugh at the vintage soft-core portraits of her that hang on the wall). She sports an oversprayed updo that’s a few years past being fashionable, wears leopard print leggings made from non-breathable fibre and runs laps around her lids with black eyeliner.
She’s a battler, and her years of off-books casual jobs have left her no viable pathway to social security. So when a smitten customer pops the cork then pops the question, Angelique spies a second chance at life. If only she’s willing to heed the call for last drinks.
For most of its running time, Party Girl is a slice of life redemption story, until the ending brings some drama which, though plausible, seems tacked on and unnecessary.
Party Girl for the most part, is a kind portrait of an atypical woman. There’s an easy intimacy between Angelique and her kids, which makes sense given they're a family in real life, and that here they’re all playing versions of themselves:The film was inspired by Angelina’s own existential crisis and wedding a few years ago. One of her four children – son Sam – has a co-director credit.