Fat Girl (2001)

fat girl poster 2001 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Goes a direction you don't expect

Rather explicit and not as defined as possible

Movie Info

Movie Name: Fat Girl

Studio: Arte France Cinema

Genre(s): Drama

Release Date(s):  February 10, 2001 (Berlin International Film Festival)/March 7, 2001 (France)/October 12, 2001 (US)

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

fat girl anais reboux roxane mesquida


Anaïs Pingot (Anaïs Reboux) and Elena Pignot (Roxane Mesquida) are sisters, but you wouldn’t know it.  The older and beautiful Elena always catches the attention of men and despite her young age, she is promiscuous and flirtatious.  Anaïs is young, overweight, and never seems to get the attention that her sister gets.  While Elena dreams of her first sexual experience, Anaïs would rather the whole event be over and done with so she doesn’t have to focus on it.  On vacation, Elena befriends an Italian college student named Fernando (Libero De Rienzo) and believes he could be the one that she allow to be her first…but with Anaïs in tow and always around, it might not be possible.

fat girl sex scene roxane mesquida libero de rienzo

Yep…nothing more romantic than hooking up with a teenage girl while her sister “sleeps” next to us

Written and directed by Catherine Breillat, Fat Girl (À ma sœur! aka To My Sister!) is a French coming-of-age drama.  The film was released to acclaim but also faced harsh criticism over its themes and explicit content.  The Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film (Criterion #259).

When Fat Girl came out, all the critics were talking about it, and a coworker and I wanted to see what the buzz was about.  With no theaters playing it, only a small art-dealing video store had a copy of the film…we both watched it and found it shocking, but were unsure how we felt about it.  Now, more than twenty years later, the movie still remains shocking, but the content feels even more poignant.  Due to aspects of the story, a ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the rest of the review.

fat girl anais reboux sex scene

I hate my sister…

The movie is about two girls facing sexuality.  Anaïs provides the point of view and falls under the shadow of her sister.  The two have a rather typical sister relationship with resentment and fights but also moments of giggling, camaraderie, and genuine love.  They both also use each other.  Elena who wants to have sex for the first time will use Anaïs as an excuse to move faster or slower with her boyfriend…but she also thinks she’s controlling the situation which isn’t the case.  Fernando appears to be using her and telling her stories to convince her that he loves her…and when it gets too hard, his mom is needed to break it off.

The film doesn’t shy away from nudity.  Both girls are playing underage girls and this makes the nudity uncomfortable as it is meant to be.  As an adult, you are watching in Elena a girl really making a lot of mistakes and Roxane Mesquida does a good job portraying a girl who knows she’s attractive and probably gets her way, but unaware that it can also get her in trouble.  Anaïs Reboux has the unflattering role as the overweight Anaïs who is insecure about her body and put in an unfortunate situation by her sister time and again.

fat girl ending serial killer rape

Still terrifying even if you know it is coming

While the nudity is shocking, what often gets Fat Girl noticed is the deus ex machina ending.  At a rest stop after sleeping for the night, a truck driver shatters the window, kills Elena with an ax, strangles Anaïs and Elena’s mother played by Arsinée Khanjian, and proceeds to rape Anaïs.  While the event is unexpected and not precipitated, thematically the rape goes back to Anaïs wish “to just get it over with” and the idea that it doesn’t really count.  There is also the honesty factor.  While Anaïs suffers a horrible rape, the rapist doesn’t lie to do it…unlike Fernando who coaxes and pushes Elena into situations that she didn’t want to be in…making her believe she was making the choice.  Anaïs is raped, but in a way, Elena is too…it’s just an uncomfortable “consensual” experience.

Fat Girl isn’t a movie for everyone and can be interpreted a lot of different ways.  It is a hard movie to watch and the ending could be seen as gratuitous or a creative means to get some of the themes across.  Overall, the film is memorable and once you see Fat Girl you’re unlikely to forget it…at least the ending.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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