My Review of Hard-is in French, with English subtitles, Sky Arts 1 and Virgin Channel 281 on Fridays, first Episode 5th January-half an hour only-look out for Le Maison Close which follows this on Sky Arts 1 @10pm (review to come)

My Review of Hard Sky Arts 1 Virgin 281 started 5th Janaury 2013

OK so Hard was flagged up in my paper in the Christmas schedule going into the New Year and again today, the 5th January 2013, unusual fora half hour programme on Sky Arts 1.

Yet it must have been the Independent who flagged up Hatifum, Prisoners Of War and before that In Treatment since I didn’t even know about Sky Arts and that i had it on Virgin!(You don’t have to be a Sky customer)

Hard is a French comedy and is about a jolly happy 2.2 French family living in the suburbs.  Then the Dad dies unexpectedly in a freak accident.  I missed that bit (probably a habit long borne out of preferring to miss the usual grisly death in the first few minutes of Dramas these days).  His wife, Sophie, is very beautiful, somewhat downtrodden in demeanour and she is wearing a cardigan.  This all means, of course, that she is shortly going to become officially empowered.  The cardigan being the classic pre-empowerment garb for women in films.

Supremely beautiful women in films dressed deliberately all in dowdy and looking oddly downwards towards the floor are meant to convince us of their mousiness and total lack of confidence when it is obvious that such women (mostly) breeze through life with supreme confidence.

Like the idea that both Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslett in the film The Holiday were actually meek and submissive and lacked any confidence when it was blindingly obvious they had it in spades.  That was how they were successful in their businesses.  D’oh.

Anyway, i digress:
After the funeral there is a shock horror moment when our heroine Sophie’s straight talking Mother in-law breaks it to her that straight laced looking hubby had a successful secret porn website business.

Cue the obligatory wacky parade of people at the porn studio that our heroine eventually visits.  Plus some rather heavy duty goings on in various cubicles and rooms all over the warehouse.  All quite heated and intense   Yes, they have to have a dwarf and a donkey and a chicken being lovingly held by a transvestite called Andrea.

Everybody on the Porn sets is really nice .  They appear all to have been very fond of Alexander, the now dead husband:
“He told me he loved me for all the people I was, all the things I had and not to cut one of them off” says Andrea, fussing solicitously from a restrained distance whilst following the heroine around in mute grief.
(Nb Andrea calls Alexandre Robert which is why i first thought this was his name.  Possibly it’s his middle name)

There is a beautiful white haired lady who smiles radiantly at our heroine as she goes back onto her set. The old lady, like all the other actors not busily engaged has come up to greet the heroine and quietly commiserate her on her husband’s death.

Then the heroine meets a rather handsome Roman soldier with slightly greying temples.  We discover that he is in fact. a Gaul soldier from ancient France, ready for his part in a film.  He is completely overcome by meeting our beautiful heroine.  Well she is very beautiful, she could have stumbled out of a pre-Raphaelite painting.  So the Gaul soldier who we are informed is the holder of the porn name Roy the Rod stutters and stumbles over his words.  He tells her she is very beautiful in the same sentence as giving his condolences.

Yes. We know.  Before our heroine Sophie does of course. Roy the Rod is the official Love Interest.  Then off he goes, up the stone steps of the warehouse, he may have been having a fag outside.  Showing on his departure that this soldier of Gaul has fetching bright red PVC shorts on under his big red cloak..


Shame its only half an hour, i enjoyed it.  So far our sad and dowdy heroine has refused to have anything to do with running the business,even though she has been told that her husband re-mortgaged the house and she now needs to make a go of it to pay her mortgage.  Times are tough, in spite of all their efforts, the clever young girl in the office shows a succession of pie charts and graphs to explain that business is down.  The man in charge pushes past the girl with the graphs and interrupts her presentation to our heroine.

 Oh yes, forgot to mention that the big bald-headed man who seems to be in charge is a bit slimy: the only one who is so far, as he has to sidle up to some “Eastern European girls” coming into work and demand kisses off them..

 I predict that our heroine Sophie, who was running away from the business when she happened upon smiling and funny grey templed Roy the Rod, will soon return and start putting some things straight..

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