Fanfan / Quinze ans après – Alexandre Jardin

“Fanfan” and “Quinze ans après” are sequels written by Alexandre Jardin, a French writer.

Fanfan, published in 1990, is an exciting book about passion, love, adultery, art, french bourgeoisie,… It tackles the question “Does routine kill Love?” According to Alexandre, the protagonist, it does. And so, when he meets Fanfan and falls crazy in love with her, he comes up with romantic, strange and inventive ways for them to spend time together under one condition: never sleep with her. He believes that it is the only way to keep the passion burning and the excitement going so that the relationship never falls into the routine and gets boring. Fanfan is at first delighted by the attention that Alexandre gives her, but she soon becomes frustrated by his unwillingness to touch her. Is Alexandre’s wish to keep Fanfan, without sleeping with her, doomed to failure..?

«Qui dit que je suis fou, ne l’a jamais été d’amour.»
[ Alexandre Jardin ] – Extrait de Fanfan

The book takes you to the depths of a crazy relationship. You will be waiting to see what happens next and if they are gonna end up together. The plot is exciting, surprising and shocking at some point. You will not see Alexandre next actions coming. Loved the end of the book… But here comes the sequel.

I don’t wanna be ruining Fanfan ending by talking about Quinze ans après. One thing to say is that it was a less-exciting read. It felt like a repetition and failed to re-create the first excitement of Fanfan.

Fanfan, the movie, was released in 1993 starring Vincent Perez and the beautiful Sophie Marceau. I didn’t watch it yet but it looks like it was a success. One review said “The portrayed characters are full of passion, of life and contradictions which makes the film very convincing – a tragedy, a comedy and a romance. Very special, very good, very french.”

So what do you think?

Does routine really kill Love? Is leaving things unfinished the only way to keep the excitement going?

Vincent Perez and Sophie Marceau transform what looks at first like a routine romantic comedy into something far richer, far more compassionate.  The second part of the film also contains some moments of artistic brilliance, notably the Cocteau-esque sequence in which the two lovers attempt to make contact through a mirrored partition.  Although there are a few unexplained gaps in the narrative – some more back story about Alexandre might have helped – writer-director Alexandre Jardin succeeds in weaving a tender love story that is both original and hauntingly poetic.

3 comments

  1. Rita

    Routine does not kill love .. people kill love with their unwillingness to see beyond what they think is Love!
    Leaving Things Unfinished is not a way to keep the excitement, in my opinion because it will not be a complete Love relation without those things!
    There are always Creative ways to keep the passion alive!

  2. Bissextile

    While waiting for something – in this case, sexual contact – can be a source of excitement, over waiting ends up marginalizing the whole thing; it kinda falls in an abyss in the back of your mind where you need to dig it up again.

    Routine is a b**ch, only if you don’t know how to go around it.
    Be creative, change the settings, the when and where, disconnect from time to time.. Simple tips we often read just about everywhere, but never really try to implement until Routine is taking it’s toll on the relationship. (I’m not speaking for all, I know it’s the case with some though)

    Unfinished things for the purpose of changing a habit are welcomed. Unfinished things arising from the fear of consuming all the fun and passion should not exist. Provided you have a minimum of creativity to keep adding spice to an already sizzling dish.

    Bon appetit!

  3. Marie

    @Rita Totally agree with you🙂

    @Bissextile agree, we just need to keep a good balance I guess.

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