In Novo, Eduardo Noriega is Graham, a ruggedly handsome Paris photocopy clerk who can’t remember people or events for more than 10 minutes at a time. It’s a deficiency that his boss (Nathalie Richard) uses to fuck him again and again—knowing full well that soon after they’re done, he won’t recall the encounters. Enter Iréne (Anna Mouglalis), an adventurous lass with less Manichaean designs. She’s content to screw Graham six ways from Sunday using all kinds of accoutrements but is actually interested in a relationship, reveling in the perpetual newness of being with an amnesiac and braving the inherent lack of intimacy. Jean-Pierre Limosin directs his tale with a certain Gallic equanimity and dry humor (to hide their office romance, Iréne says to Graham, “Forget that you know me”), but after an opening 20 minutes of pert dialogue, charming performances, and true tendresse, Novo devolves into a plodding morass of love lost-and-found after Graham’s forgotten wife enters the picture. Limosin’s elliptical narrative, meant to correlate with his protagonist’s blank-slate mind, instead plays as desultory and just plain confused.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 13, 2005