Catherine Breillat's Sex Is Comedy could serve as a companion piece to a pair of earlier French movies about making movies -- Franois Truffaut's enduring valentine Day for Night and the entertaining 2001 farce My Wife Is an Actress. But Breillat, who most recently gave us a scorching glimpse into teenage sexuality and family dysfunction called Fat Girl, has an agenda all her own in this biographically inspired story about a film director (Anne Parillaud) struggling to bring off a steamy sex scene between a beautiful actress (Roxane Mequida) and a leading man (Gregoire Colin) who absolutely detest each other. Breillat's mixed emotions about actors ("I say that I hate them; deep down I love them") are on full display here, as are her long-held concerns about male-female relationships, the uses of power and, of course, her love of movies. Self-indulgent? Maybe, but this is one of the world's most intelligent and fluent filmmakers, so there's plenty here to like.
Sex Is Comedy will open Friday, December 17, for a one-week run at the Starz FilmCenter at the Tivoli, 900 Auraria Parkway. For information and showtimes, call 303-820-3456.