How do you establish connection in a world where everybody is pretty much dis-connected? This is the question that is raised and answered in Director Richard Temtchine’s upcoming film How To Seduce Difficult Women. Due out later this year the story, a comedy of sorts, is a simple one. Philippe, a Frenchman living in New York City, starts a course in seduction for American men. The course in seduction is based on the recent book written by said Frenchman, now acting instructor, and will be attended by 10 men, who throughout the course are going to find out how to get a woman in their lives, thanks to Philippe. One of the men will quit the course, two of them will end up seeing a psychiatrist. The way the film plays out is comical and enlightening, and while we certainly don’t wish to give too much away lets just say that “oui”, the French can teach us a LOT, both men and women.
The French Way is the Only Way
Listening to Richard Temtchine, the accomplished Director, known for his production of the clever sleeper Dummy (2003) starring Adrien Brody, is quite an engaging experience. The simplest of words seem to have an eloquent roll off the tongue, albeit this may be true of many Frenchman to an American woman's ear. Then again, isn't this why we consider Paris to be the ultimate Honeymoon destination, and the French to be masters at love? It only stands to reason that we may be missing something as people, and in particular American men when it comes to getting a woman to succumb. If you believe you have heard it all before, then think again, using New York City as his testing ground a few serious truths have been discovered. As a Frenchman living in New York, I realized that everytime “I ran into a beautiful woman, or not so beautiful woman all of them had the same complaint. Where are the men?” Women were having a hard time because men were having a hard time. In the matter of seduction I felt that American men operated very differently than French men; therefore, I thought that if we made a film which had a serious tone to it, and we disguised it as a comedy we could send a subliminal message which is "how do you seduce women who for most men appear to be difficult.” Women when asked, "if they view themselves as difficult normally reply no, and then when asked well, are you easy? will reply no," and so the struggle begins.
Again, without giving too much away, the film manages to show a very honest side to men, and not simply lust and sex as the film's title may imply--those who so badly wanting to succeed with women that they are willing to go step by step with their instructor. What one says, the way one says it-- confidence, attentiveness, being romantic are all basic attributes that are clearly embedded in the teachings of Philippe. Each plays out nicely as several characters try their hand at pursuing the women of their choice, be it a gorgeous blonde in a Soho retailer, or a beautiful woman at a fruit stand. If you are 18-35 then have no fear-- this film is definitely for you, and unlike many other How to Seduce Methods out there Mr. Temtchine's method ascribes to the fact that the only way to truly seduce a woman is by being yourself. The greatest testimony to Mr. Temtchine's methods lie in a bit of feedback he received recently from a divorced man. Unlike many who have reviewed the film the man as far as he was concerned was not laughing during the film as most others were because he realized that everything being taught by the character of Philippe were many of the things that he had forgotten to do while married. Sadly, in retrospect the man is made aware that he has failed as a man because he did not pay attention to the woman that he loved.
For many, the most comical an poignant scenes in the film will no doubt be the live interviews of real people, nearly 16 in all, that are intermixed into the fabric of the film. The perspectives of both men and women and their ideas on relationships today speak volumes, and certainly do well in zeroing in on what both men and women want an expect from each other.
Auto Biographical or No?
I've seduced 1,318 women," claims Director Richard Temtchine, correction "1,320 if you count the two this week", he jokes. While we are not sure if he is completely serious with this claim or not, the fact remains that without research there can be no story. When asked if the main character Philippe is based on himself he explains, "One of the reasons that you do well when you write is that you write something that you know about, and I knew about this character really well because Phillipe is very me. I've provided so much advice to so many guys for such a long time and telling them not to be afraid...they are really good looking, they have EVERYTHING...they really do...they have money, they don't have money...they're good people...they just end up going alone at night, and wondering how do I do it? How do I do it." OK, we are thinking, but Philippe the main character was cheating on his wife we remind him. "Ah, umm...well you have to take liberties when you write a script so that you will make the script a little more interesting, you don't really want to have a one-dimensional story...it's for the benefit of the audience really."
The verifiable portion in all of this is that Mr. Temtchine did indeed teach his very own courses in seduction all over New York City, in locations ranging from a recording studio to private rooms at the hip and trendy eateries of Opia and Jour Et Nuit. The next Seduction Seminar slated for the World Trade Center will take place sometime in June.
Interestingly, in the end the character Philippe pens another book called Love Her and Listen, a sequel perhaps? Who knows. How to Seduce Difficult Women will be done as a limited release in the latter part of 2008, as an art house film in a theater near you.
Article by Tia Walker
Credits: Feature Story subject Richard Temtchine was shot on location at New York Film Academy, 100 East 17th St. @ New York, NY.
*cover photo courtesy of Quadrant Entertainment, additional photos by AJ Davis for The Quest for "it" with exception of film still supplied by Quadrant Entertainment.