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Five years ago, Memento was the #2 film on my 10 Best List of 2000. That innovative crime drama revolved around the desperate effort of a man with acute amnesia to solve his wife’s murder. But because he could remember nothing for longer than 15 minutes, he resorted to writing notes and taking Polaroid photos to remind himself of the assorted clues he collected before he would forget them.

Of course, it’s only a matter of time before any great movie gets ripped off, and the first variation on the theme has arrived in Novo, a French farce which reweaves Memento’s crime caper as a sex romp. Eduardo Noriega stars as Graham, a man left with only a short-term memory after an unfortunate accident.

Since he needs to re-learn everything about himself, he constantly jots down reminders in a notebook he keeps attached to his wrist.

While undergoing therapy, he takes a job as a clerk at a photocopy store, where he becomes the boy toy of both his boss (Nathalie Richard) and a co-worker (Anna Mouglalis). For some reason, neither woman minds that Graham forgets who they are about an hour after each steamy session, rather they appreciate the fresh passion he exhibits repeatedly as he experiences each encounter as if the first time.

After sowing his wild oats for most of the movie, he finds out he has a wife (Paz Vega) and a young son, and the question becomes whether he will clean up his act or continue with his hedonistic, sex without consequences lifestyle. Impressionistic, with plenty of nudity and simulated oral sex, but otherwise it fails to make much of a social statement.

Good (2 stars)
Unrated with frequent female frontal nudity and graphic sexuality.
(In French with subtitles)
Running time: 98 minutes
Distributor: IFC Films

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