“Diary of a Nymphomaniac” (2008)

Blowhard, Esq. writes:


This is a strange one. After failing to climax during her first sexual experience, Val, a Spanish-French twenty-something played by Belén Fabra, egged on by her dying grandmother who wishes she spent her whole life fucking, decides that she will spend her whole life fucking. But when it’s clear the guyz can’t keep up with her insatiable demands she decides to pursue a trad square life. And, lucky her, her dreams of Love and Fulfillment seem within reach when she meets The Perfect Guy. …OR IS HE?

The film, directed by Christian Molina and adapted by Cuca Canals from a novel by Valérie Tasso, is tonally all over the place, vacillating between late-night-cable Euro sex film and Lifetime melodrama. One minute she’s having her Arab fuck buddy bang her with a Coke bottle, the next she’s a young Spanish Julia Roberts complaining to her mousy yet oh-so-supportive coworker about men these days. The entire second act is a the-dream-turned-into-a-nightmare Oprah confessional. I spent significant parts of the movie dumbfounded at the choices the filmmakers made, but on the other hand, you have to admire a team that piles on so many cliches and plays them straight. (I shouldn’t have been surprised when she took a job at the high-class brothel but I was.) On top of the kooky plot, there’s the music video sex scenes, corny flashbacks, and plenty of you-go-girl validation. But hey, Fabra gives it her all and manages to generate some heat, so that ain’t nothin’. Perhaps amused is the more appropriate state of mind to watch this film.

DIARY OF A NYMPHOMANIAC is currently streaming on Netflix.


  • I’ll admit the only reason I watched the movie is because it had “nymphomaniac” in the title. Netflix Instant has a lot of midnight sex movies. I enjoyed the daring LEAP YEAR much more than this film.
  • Paleo Retiree on Lars Von Trier’s NYMPHOMANIAC.
  • Have you checked out our XXX-rated Tumblr yet? (Hint: all the really gross, disgusting stuff is posted by Fabrizio.)

About Blowhard, Esq.

Amateur, dilettante, wannabe.
This entry was posted in Movies, Sex and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to “Diary of a Nymphomaniac” (2008)

  1. “(Hint: all the really gross, disgusting stuff is posted by Fabrizio.)”

    Throwin’ down a challenge eh?


  2. You could make a pretty lively drinking game by chugging a shot every time a cliché comes on in that movie: the incessant eating of apples (because Eve, and sex, and symbols), the final epiphany in the rain, the meek frowsy colleague who finally gets a man (aww), and my personal favorite, the Important Life Lesson Learned From Noble Handicapped Man.


    • Oh, good point, I forgot about all of those. The apples were a nice touch as was the mousy coworker getting her own man (You can have it all!).

      I watched the first episode of GAME OF THRONES recently. In that first hour a character learns an Important Life Lesson from a Noble Handicapable Man. When a fan of the show (and books) unironically said that was one of the best scenes in the entire series, I knew it was OK for me not to continue.


  3. agnostic says:

    Sounds like it could’ve made a couple of cool music videos, with all the crust scrubbed off.

    The loss of interest in that medium has left a void for short-form, off-kilter storytelling. When a neat idea or two must be bloated out into a feature-length film, they must be beaten to death in a Real Serious Dramatic tone, then a thousand other ideas (new and slapdash, or tired cliches) must be tossed in to pad out the remaining 90 minutes.

    Music videos were just long enough to make a simple story pack a punch, rather than become diluted by Lifetime movie melodrama (“Janie’s Got a Gun”). And if the action was more evocative (“The Chauffeur,” “Losing My Religion”), the length was short enough to keep us from habituating to its weirdness and yawning “Yeah, we get it” for 90 minutes.

    But, no one’s interested in movies under two hours long, and TV shows no longer come in bite-sized episodes but six-hour binge-athons. What choice do the producers have if they want to stay afloat?


    • I dunno, a lot of us like short movies around here. I watch two documentaries last night, each around 1 hour and 20 minutes.

      And TV still comes in 42-50 minute chunks, doesn’t it? Yeah, you can wait until the shows are released on DVD, but I watched the recent season of MAD MEN one episode at a time.


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