Please, Not Now! Blu-ray Review: Brigitte Bardot Will Have You Saying Please, Now!

Brigitte Bardot is here to heat up the New Year in this steamy comedy from provocative writer/director Roger Vadim (Barbarella). She plays a photographer’s model jilted by her boyfriend (Jacques Riberolles), leading her to take increasingly comedic measures to win him back. When a new man (Michel Subor) offers to help her make the ex jealous, she falls into his ploy to become her new boyfriend.

Vadim’s film is breezy and light on its feet, a bubbly concoction that veers from one set piece to the next without much concern for logic. One moment Bardot is racing mini cars, then hitching a ride downhill with a bobsled team, then dancing through a nude dream sequence as fantasized by her new paramour. She’s the object of affection, but she’s also the driving force of the plot, refusing to be controlled by either man as she explores the future she wants for herself. 

Although billed as “the most provocative comedy of the year”, there’s very little objectionable content in the film. In fact, the most shocking aspect is probably an unnecessarily dark turn when Bardot loads a shotgun and determines to murder her ex’s new girl. It’s a brief sequence, and eventually laughed away with the help of her new man, but seems out of place in the otherwise frothy and lighthearted romp.

The other principal provocation is her dream dance sequence, a literally steamy number so obscured it looks like it was filmed in a sauna. The hi-def Blu-ray is no help in lifting the veil of fog, although it does clarify that if you think you saw more Bardot detail in a prior viewing, you are mistaken. Also, Vadim delights in cross-cutting with footage of a band playing her number, using them in his delirious game of peekaboo to craft a notorious scene that is more implied than lurid.

It’s odd, even though Bardot was a full-fledged star by the time of this film, she seems more youthfully innocent than her first and most well-known production with Vadim, …And God Created Woman (1956). This is likely due to the black and white format and her innocent, ditzy character, but viewers unfamiliar with her filmography might assume this is an early career entry for her. Instead, this film was made years after the dissolution of Vadim and Bardot’s marriage, proving that their professional relationship was still potent.

The French/Italian co-production is presented in its original 2.35:1 black and white format. While no details are provided about restoration, the Blu-ray image is remarkably free of defects, aside from a scratch during a split screen scene in the final minutes. The black and white photography by Robert Lefebvre is lovely, with excellent lighting and contrast, showcasing Brigitte’s unconventional beauty. An audio commentary track by a film historian is included, as well as the U.S. theatrical trailer.

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Steve Geise

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