Cannes winner Blue Is the Warmest Color is not a film that necessarily appeals to everyone – explicit sex scenes and its three-hour runtime sort of automatically count out plenty of movie-goers – but Abdellatif Kechiche’s take on Julie Maroh’s graphic novel of the same name does have a certain amount of spectator draw that could cause some hilarious in-theater double takes when uninformed audiences turn out to see the film. “I heard people loved it at Cannes!” “There’s a lot of sex!” “It’s based on a graphic novel!” “Dudes, really, I heard there is a lot of sex.” The chance for shocked audience members to flee is markedly high on this one, though it remains to be seen if people will run because there’s too much sex or too much talking. It could really become its own sport, but we’re not here to take bets as to who will be most surprised by what they see in the Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux starrer, we’re here to help you figure out who will be least surprised by what they see, so that you can have a movie pal to accompany you to the (very, very good) film.
Because so many of you are clearly wondering just who is an acceptable movie date when it comes to taking in the NC-17 rated Palme d’Or-winning three-hour French-language film about the romantic entanglements of two stunning lesbians that features some of the most realistic looking sex scenes to hit celluloid in decades, we’re here to help. (Hint: it’s a really small list.)
A First Date
Sure, the basic plotline of Blue Is the Warmest Color sounds romantic enough – two beautiful young people fall in love, woo, and get down – but the added stressors within the film make it a bad, bad bet for dates (especially first ones). While Adele’s sexual discovery is beautiful and very relatable, it does come with some horribly unsettling homophobia and the lingering sense that it’s not just her friends who might shun her, but also her parents (in the graphic novel the film is based on, her parents’ resistance to accepting her sexuality plays a large part in the drama, though they simply disappear here after the film’s first third or so). There’s also the problem that, though Adele and Emma certainly do some big-time wooing, they also do some big-time fighting and breaking up. No first date needs that.
If you’ve got a long-term partner who wants to see Blue with you, go for it…unless you guys have unresolved issues about your sexual escapades (“how come they can have sex for hours and we don’t? How? Why? How why ugh?”) or (mild spoiler alert here) fidelity, then it might be best to keep that stuff at home, where you can discuss it away from the movies. And, guys? Work those issues out. Love is hard, but worth it (cries while thinking about Blue Is the Warmest Color).
Your Best Friend
Unless your best friend is a giggling fourteen-year-old boy, you should be in the clear here. If you and your best pal are both cinephiles, even better. At the very least, you two will have plenty of fun stuff to discuss over post-movie coffee.
If your older brother is totally hip or your little sister is a budding filmmaker or vice versa and if they’re mature and of age and won’t spill to your parents, sure, why not?
Your Pal From Work
If you’ve never gone out of office with your friendship, don’t make this your first pick. Honestly, who wants to sit next to someone they see every single day for a three-hour movie? That’s the real rub here.
You guys. No. You already knew that, but no.
Seriously? No. Of course no. God no.
Unavoidable, you will be seeing this film in a theater. Though perhaps keep an eye out when picking seats. Just…just be safe.
For all its raw, seemingly never-ending sex sequences, Blue Is the Warmest Color is really a film about raw, seemingly never-ending emotions. If you’ve ever fallen in love or been romantically confused or gone through a terrible break up or tried to find your way in this world (basically, have you been human?), there will be some moment in the film that will hit home. There’s also enough snot-nosed crying and throat-ripping screaming that it might just randomly incite you to cry or yell. It might be best to see this one alone.
Blue Is the Warmest Color opens in limited release today.