Serial Lover

Institute History

  • 1999 Sundance Film Festival


Serial Lover, James Huth’s first feature film, an offbeat black comedy, opens with familiar French cinematic themes: food, talk, and love, but in a more ambitious, amorous geometry than the classic menage à trois. Claire, who turns thirty-five that evening, has invited a good friend and her three most recent lovers for dinner. Each paramour arrives, wine and flowers in hand, for an intimate evening, but quickly discovers that the script has changed. Claire is tired of the single life and has decided that side-by-side comparison is the only way she can choose her mate. The contestants awkwardly agree to the ground rules—marriage for the winner at city hall the next day—and are soon competing with gusto for the prize.
As Claire moves to the kitchen to put the finishing touches on her pièce de resistance—duck with blood sauce—Serial Lover shifts from low gear into high and remains there. Fate brings Claire’s cat, a blender, a carving knife, and one of the guests into fatal conjunction, but he is quickly hidden away, and the dinner continues. The next forty minutes feature slapstick gags, a burglary, repeated visits by a deadpan police officer, a wild surprise party for the birthday girl, and a long, suspenseful crescendo of ever-more-absurd situations.
Shot entirely in Claire’s swank penthouse, Serial Lover is a fast-paced, madcap farce with touches of Monty Python and Peter Sellers, transposed into French and composed with an idiosyncratic brand of absurd surrealism. It is wild, weird, and fun.

James Huth, Director
Writer/Director James Huth was born in 1966 in Paris and has dual nationality; French and English. He began his career by directing two short films, Télécommandes in 1992 and Big Dream in 1993. Serial Lover is his first feature-length film and received awards at the Paris, Chicago, and Montreal film festivals.

— Nicole Guillemet

Screening Details

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